Los Angeles: LeBron James left with a groin injury but the Los Angeles Lakers regrouped for a 127-101 blowout win over two-time defending champion Golden State that snapped an 11-game losing streak on the Warriors’ home court.
“That was our most complete game of the season,” said Lakers coach Luke Walton. “We knew they were going to go on a run and a lot of the time we rely on LeBron or our veteran leaders to keep us in it.”
“Without LeBron, the group as a whole did a good job of fighting back.”
James was injured halfway through the third quarter when he reached for a loose ball. He grimaced and grabbed his left groin before heading to the sidelines where he tried to stretch it out.
He was moving gingerly when he left the court for good and headed to the team’s locker room.
“Hopefully it is not a long thing I can get back on the floor as soon as possible,” said James, who finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Walton said team doctors would examine James on Wednesday.
“He will get an MRI tomorrow and we will have a better understanding of what he has got going on,” Walton said.
Kyle Kuzma contributed 19 points, Croatian Ivica Zubac had 18 points and 11 rebounds and Rajon Rondo 15 points and 10 assists as the Lakers won on the Warriors’ home floor for the first time in six years.
They also ended a seven-game losing streak overall in the series with their first win in the California rivalry since 2016.
“We just want to continue to get better,” James said. “It is always the next man up. You have to be able to take punches and punch back and we were able to do that.”
Kevin Durant had 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Andre Iguodala came off the bench scored a season-high 23 points in the contest — one of five NBA games on Christmas Day.
Golden State struggled mightily from three-point range, shooting just nine for 36 overall, with Stephen Curry going two of eight and Durant three for eight.
Elsewhere, James Harden scored 41 points as the Houston Rockets recorded their seventh win in their last eight games with a 113-109 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In New York, Giannis Antetokounmpo tallied 30 points and 14 rebounds as the high-scoring Milwaukee Bucks took their frustrations out on the New York Knicks with a 109-95 win.
Brook Lopez scored 20 points in the Bucks’ victory.