Kyle Kuzma scored 15 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, LeBron James added 18 points and 10 assists, and the Los Angeles Lakers rallied late for a 105-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.
Montrezl Harrell had 17 points and Kuzma added 13 rebounds as the defending NBA champions returned from the All-Star break with just their fourth win in 11 games.
Los Angeles trailed by 12 points early in the fourth quarter before Kuzma led a ferocious rally to keep the Pacers winless against the Lakers at Staples Center since November 2015.
Malcolm Brogdon scored 23 of his 29 points in the first half for the Pacers, who opened a three-game road trip with their 11th loss in 16 games. Domantas Sabonis added 20 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists, but Indiana wilted down the stretch.
The Pacers still had the ball at midcourt down 103-100 with 9.9 seconds left, but Kentavious Caldwell-Pope stole Brogdon’s inbounds pass and hit two free throws to ice it.
Brogdon lit up the Lakers for 18 points in the first quarter. Indiana had an 86-74 lead early in the fourth, but the Lakers made a 22-4 run and seized the lead on Kuzma’s back-to-back 3-pointers.
Pacers: Caris LeVert hasn’t been officially cleared to play, coach Nate Bjorkgren said, but the guard is getting close to making his Pacers debut. LeVert underwent surgery to remove a cancerous growth from his kidney nine days after he was traded to Indiana from Brooklyn in the James Harden/Victor Oladipo trade. … LA-area native Justin Holiday went 1 for 10 on 3-pointers, scoring five points.
Lakers: Alex Caruso was sidelined with a bruise on his head during the first half. … C Marc Gasol is still out under the NBA’s health and safety protocols. … Damian Jones scored seven points in his second start for Los Angeles. The big man signed a second 10-day contract Thursday.
The Lakers announced Anthony Davis will be out for at least two more weeks with the leg injuries that have kept him sidelined since Feb. 14. The eight-time All-Star selection has been cleared to enter the next phase of his rehabilitation after an examination by team doctors, but he won’t be re-evaluated until late March.
The Lakers improved to 8-7 without their All-NBA big man, who has a strained right calf and Achilles tendinosis.
Pacers: At Suns on Saturday.
Lakers: At Warriors on Monday.
Source: NBC Los Angeles