James’ jump shot helps power Lakers past Celtics

LOS ANGELES (Agencies): LeBron James delivered the go-ahead jumper with 30 seconds left to help lift the Los Angeles Lakers to a 114-112 victory over the Boston Celtics as the two decorated franchises renewed their historic rivalry on Sunday.

The NBA powerhouses went down to the wire in a back-and-forth thriller Sunday in front of a crowd of almost 19,000 at the Staples Center arena.

Boston and Los Angeles have 33 NBA championships between them and have met in the finals a record 12 times. Both are once again title contenders, with the Lakers on top of the Western Conference standings and the Celtics sitting third in the Eastern Conference.

James’ fadeaway shot gave the Lakers the lead for good and Anthony Davis sealed the win with three free throws over the final 12 seconds. James finished with 29 points, nine assists and eight rebounds while Davis tallied a team high 32 points and 13 rebounds as the Lakers also showed good defensive strategy late in the game.

Jayson Tatum scored career-high-tying 41-points for Boston, who have survived all season on their superior offensive balance. All five Boston starters scored in double figures, with Daniel Theis adding 16 points and nine rebounds and Marcus Smart registering 14 points and seven rebounds.

Gordon Hayward scored 10 points but shot zero-of-five from behind the three-point line. Hayward flirted with a triple-double handing out a team-high nine assists and grabbing eight rebounds. Boston was coming off a Friday’s 127-117 win over Minnesota where four Celtics — Jaylen Brown, Tatum, Hayward and Theis — each scored at least 25 points.

Tatum’s 41 points Sunday equalled his career high set January 11th against New Orleans. Eighteen of Tatum’s 41 came in the third quarter, which ended with the teams tied 87-87.