LeBron James hurt his ankle but played on as the Los Angeles Lakers were humbled by the in-form Phoenix Suns 108-88 led by Devin Booker with 24 points on Tuesday.
The Lakers had a major injury scare, with All-Star forward Anthony Davis already sidelined, after James rolled his left ankle driving to the basket in the third quarter, leaving him punching the floor.
The four-time MVP soldiered on, finishing with 34 points and seven rebounds, but spent the final few minutes on the bench as the Lakers were brushed aside by the Suns who improve to 25-5.
Phoenix have four straight and won six of their past seven games, having started the season 1-3. The Suns had seven different players in double figures on Tuesday.
Booker starred in his second game back after a hamstring injury with 24 points including six three-pointers, along with nine rebounds and seven assists. Suns center Deandre Ayton had 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Talen Horton-Tucker had a nightmare game for the Lakers, shooting one of 13 from the field and none of eight from beyond the arc, while Russell Westbrook had 22 points and 10 rebounds but also seven turnovers.
Lillard's heroics in vain as Blazers lose
Damian Lillard's 39 points, including six triples, were not enough to lift the Portland Trail Blazers past the New Orleans Pelicans, going down 111-97. Brandon Ingram finished with 28 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, while Jonas Valanciunas had 10 points with 16 rebounds.
Jalen Brunson stepped up in Luka Doncic's absence with 28 points including three triples in the Dallas Mavericks' 114-102 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Karl-Anthony Towns scored 26 points with 12 rebounds and seven assists for the Wolves.
Julius Randle had 21 points and 11 rebounds as the New York Knicks overcame the Detroit Pistons 105-91.
He's just so good pic.twitter.com/5I5DWyZfGE— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) December 22, 2021
Brogdon injured as Pacers burnt by Heat
The Indiana Pacers' starting five combined for a measly 46 points in their 125-96 defeat to the Miami Heat. The Pacers were not helped by a sore right Achilles to Malcolm Brogdon which forced him off after eight minutes.