With four-time MVP LeBron James still sidelined by a left groin strain, Kyle Kuzma scored 32 points to help the Lakers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 138-128 in overtime.,Ball bounced back with five points, two rebounds and an assist in overtime.,Walton was impressed with his second-year point guard's overall effort, especially late in the game.,"For him to do that against Westbrook �� I'm sure a player he watched growing up as one of the great point guards in our league — not only to score those points, but a couple of big assists to Zu coming down the lane, a big-time rebound.,FADING DEFENSE

The Thunder, among the best defensive teams in the league during the first half of the season, have allowed an average of 130.2 points in their past six games. read more

Cedi Osman scored 20 points, Collin Sexton added 17 and the Cavaliers ended a 12-game losing streak with a 101-95 victory on Sunday night.,Tristan Thompson had 15 points and 14 rebounds, and Alec Burks had 17 points and 13 rebounds as the short-handed Cavaliers split the two-game season series by forcing the Lakers into a choppy game.,Kyle Kuzma had 29 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who have lost two straight and five of their past seven.,Burks and Osman hit 3-pointers to bookend the push, and Cleveland was able to sustain a 10-point margin going into the fourth by holding Los Angeles to 8-for-26 shooting.,SLOW START

The Lakers trailed 32-24 after the first quarter, the fifth time in the past six games they allowed at least 30 points in the opening period. read more

LOS ANGELES — Cedi Osman scored 20 points, Collin Sexton added 17 and the Cleveland Cavaliers ended a 12-game losing streak with a 101-95 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night.,Kyle Kuzma had 29 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who have lost two straight and five of their past seven.,Los Angeles was 7 for 34 on 3-pointers and had 11 fast-break points.,Burks delivered an emphatic dunk after Ingram couldn’t handle a defensive rebound to help the Cavaliers re-establish control after Kuzma scored five straight to cut the Cavaliers’ lead to 84-79 midway though the four quarter.,Burks and Osman hit 3-pointers to bookend the push, and Cleveland was able to sustain the 10-point margin going into the fourth by holding Los Angeles to 8-for-26 shooting.

Kyle Kuzma scored a career-high 41 points in three quarters against his childhood team, joining some rarified company in the process.,Kuzma had 22 points in the third quarter, hitting four 3-pointers to get the crowd on its feet and scoring on consecutive goaltending calls.,Detroit's Blake Griffin, averaging a career-high 25.3 points per game, was held to 16.,Ball hit a 3-pointer and Kuzma had five points before James came on the court to cheer his teammates during a timeout.,Lakers: James (left groin strain) is set to be re-evaluated Friday and won't travel with the team for its game in Utah.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 22 points, Trey Burke added 16 and the Knicks snapped their eight-game losing streak with a 119-112 victory over Los Angeles on Friday night.,Enes Kanter scored eight of his 16 points down the stretch as the Knicks pulled away, ending their first win since Dec. 14 on an 11-3 run.,Seven players scored in double figures for New York, including 10 points in the fourth quarter from Mario Hezonja, who also had barely played since mid-December.,TIP-INS

Knicks: Frank Ntilikina played only briefly in the first half before straining his left ankle and sitting out the rest of the game.,SLOW START FOR LA read more

Lacking sufficient students willing and able to pay for costly basketball tickets to fill the new Pauley Pavilion, why should UCLA cough up millions any top-market basketball coach would feel himself to be worth?,How much did it cost UCLA to serve as an uncompensated NBA training camp?My vision of UCLA basketball is somewhat different from Plaschkes: Ticket prices reduced precisely because the coach is not being paid the stellar wage commensurate with a rock star status, and students cheering for actual student-athletes who might go into fields other than pro.,The simple fact is that UCLA does not have someone who knows what he is doing and therein lies UCLAs problem over the past 16 years of Dan Guerreros tenure.Success at the highest level in the two major sports, football and basketball, requires not onlya top-flight coach, but also a top-flight athletic director.,Trump U., for example.Michael JenningVan Nuys::Bill Plaschke, just what was the purpose of your hatchet job description of the UCLA basketball program in your column on New Years Day?,Of course, I was watching the Lady Bruins and their coach, Cori Close.Now that the mens program is looking for someone to take over for coach Alford, perhaps UCLA look no further than its own campus.Mike FeixChino HIlls::For front page news on New Years Day we are offered Bill Plaschkes lament on the failure of basketball at UCLA.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers looked just fine for 3 ½ quarters in their first game without LeBron James.,Bogdan Bogdanovic made a 3-pointer at the buzzer and the Sacramento Kings rallied from 15 points down in the fourth quarter to beat Los Angeles 117-116 on Thursday night.,De’Aaron Fox followed with two free throws for Sacramento, and Kyle Kuzma made one of two for Los Angeles with 4.6 left.,Kuzma had 34 points to help make up for James’ absence, and Lonzo Ball added 20 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds.,COMEBACK KIDS

The Kings are the first team to win three consecutive home games when trailing by 15 points or more since San Antonio did it during the 2016-17 season. read more

It was the third straight home game in which the Kings have come back to win from at least 15-point deficits in the second half.If LeBron James is playing in that game, it probably finishes a little differently, Lakers coach Luke Walton said.,For most of Thursday nights game, they did, after the Kings took a 12-point lead in the first quarter.They stepped up, especially with the way Sacramento came out and punched us early, this is a high-powered offense that can get you going in front of their crowd here, Walton said.,And I thought our guys, mainly Zo early on, responded to that challenge and they were out there playing like veterans.Early during the first quarter, Kings point guard DeAaron Fox soared through the air for a one-handed dunk, then backpedaled from the force of his own score, fell onto his back and did a backward somersault to turn upright again.Moments later Ball answered with a three-pointer.,Missing Bron, missing [Rajon] Rondo, I knew I had to step up personally and the rest of the guys knew as well.Kuzma was always the off-ball scorer, ready to capitalize on any opportunity his playmaking teammates found for him.And Ingram gave the Lakers an early push, scoring 21 points through three quarters.The Lakers lead was commanding for much of the fourth, but as the game neared its close, Sacramento refused to let go.,Ball had to leave the game with 1:42 remaining, leg cramps getting the best of him.With the Lakers leading by three with 59.6 second left, Kuzma fouled Sacramentos Justin Jackson while he was shooting a three-pointer.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers lost LeBron James in the third quarter to a strained left groin then went out and beat the two-time defending champions without him Tuesday night, getting King James' 17 points, 13 rebounds and five assists before the injury in a surprising 127-101 rout of the Golden State Warriors.,Kuzma contributed 19 points with a pretty baseline 3 late, Ivica Zubac had 18 points and 11 rebounds and Rajon Rondo 15 points and 10 assists off the bench as the Lakers snapped an 11-game losing streak on the Warriors' home floor since a 118-115 overtime win Dec. 22, 2012.,HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden scored 41 points and the Rockets beat the Thunder for their seventh win in the last eight games.,Harden has scored 30 points or more in a career-high seven games in a row, marking the first time a player has done that since Russell Westbrook had eight consecutive 30-point games in November 2016.,Joe Ingles chipped in 15 points, seven rebounds, and five assists for the Jazz (17-18), who won for the fifth time in their last six home games while shooting 55 percent from the floor.

LeBron James prides himself in his durability, being available night after night, game after grueling game.,The Los Angeles Lakers lost LeBron in the third quarter to a strained left groin then went out and beat the two-time defending champions without him Tuesday night, getting King James' 17 points, 13 rebounds and five assists before the injury in a surprising 127-101 rout of the Golden State Warriors.,Stephen Curry made consecutive 3s shortly after James exited, and the Warriors got within 78-76 at the 2:48 mark of the third — but Kyle Kuzma and the persistent Lakers stayed at it every possession.,It was James' second straight Christmas game at Oracle Arena after playing here with the Cavaliers last year and losing 99-92.,Walton — a former Warriors top assistant and dear friend of Steve Kerr — got some time with his Hall of Fame dad, Bill, before the game and a few moments to catch up with Curry and share holiday greetings in the hallway after the two-time MVP's warmup routine.