Still missing LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers lost for the fourth time in their past five games Wednesday night, beaten 116-107 by the Washington Wizards, who got league scoring leader Bradley Beal’s 27 points and Russell Westbrook’s 13th triple-double in April.
Washington has won nine of 10 games, led by its dynamic duo of Beal and Westbrook, who finished with 18 points, 18 rebounds and 14 assists. That extends his NBA record for most triple-doubles in a month and gives him 30 for the season and 176 for his career, just five away from Oscar Robertson’s career mark.
The Wizards were up 69-67 early in the second half when they used a 16-2 run to break things open and grab an 85-69 edge with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.
Then, in the fourth, the hosts kept pouring it on, and a fast-break dunk by Ish Smith on a pass from — who else? — Westbrook made it 98-79 with less than 9 1/2 minutes remaining and brought most of the Wizards players onto the court to celebrate at the ensuing timeout.
James has been sidelined for more than a month with a sprained right ankle, a 20-game absence during which the Lakers are 8-12 and have dropped to fifth in the Western Conference standings. He sat near LA’s subs, a mask covering his nose and mouth.
The good news for the visitors: Anthony Davis scored 26 — 14 in the fourth quarter — his highest output in four games back since sitting for 30 with a strained right calf.
He also ended up on his backside on the baseline and checking his nose for blood after taking a hand to the face on Rui Hachimura’s fast-break dunk over the 2012 No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft.
Andre Drummond had 17 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles.
Hachimura scored 12 and Alex Len contributed 18 points and nine rebounds for Washington, which entered the day with a 27-34 record, good enough for a one-game lead over the Chicago Bulls for 10th place in the East and the play-in berth that comes with that spot. The Wizards have 10 regular-season games left.
NO LBJ UPDATE
Lakers coach Frank Vogel declined to give an update on the status of James, skirting questions about his use when he comes back and whether that could be before the regular season ends.
“He and the medical team will tell me when he’s ready,” Vogel said. “When he’s ready to play, he’ll play.”
The four-time NBA MVP’s averages lead Los Angeles in scoring (25.4), assists (7.9) and minutes (33.9) this season.
“He’s still out indefinitely,” Vogel said. “That’s all I’ve got for you.”
Lakers: G Alex Caruso (back spasms) did not play, which Vogel predicted before the game would be a problem because Caruso’s talent at the defensive end would have been helpful against Beal and Westbrook. … Started just 1 of 11 on 3-point attempts; finished 10 of 34.
Wizards: C Robin Lopez returned after sitting out a game for the first time all season because of a sprained left ankle. Lopez had eight points. … Outscored LA 62-54 in the paint.
Lakers: Open a three-game homestand by hosting the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.
Wizards: Play seven of their upcoming eight games on the road, beginning at Cleveland on Friday night. After starting the season 9-17 in away games, Washington has won three in a row.
Source: NBC Los Angeles