LeBron James celebrated his 38th birthday with 47 points in a near triple-double as the Los Angeles Lakers downed the Atlanta Hawks 130-121 on Friday.
James scored 47 points on 18-of-27 shooting from the field with 10 rebounds and nine assists, proving the four-time NBA MVP is evergreen.
The 18-time All-Star scored 16 points in both the second and fourth quarters to tie a season high.
The Lakers rallied from a 15-point deficit before getting the lead in a tight fourth quarter, with James’ three-pointer giving them a 103-101 lead that they have never relinquished.
James iced the game with a pair of free throws amid chants of “MVP! MVP!” from the State Farm Arena crowd, who seemed willing to switch allegiance to the star on his birthday.
Thomas Bryant scored 19 points with a season-high 17 rebounds, while Russell Westbrook added 14 points and 11 assists off the bench.
Trae Young returned from a calf contusion for the high-scoring Hawks with 29 points and eight assists, while Dejounte Murray contributed 20 points, seven rebounds and nine assists.
The result lifts the Lakers to a 15-21 record, having lost nine of their last 13 games going into the game. The Hawks fell to 17-19 after losing their last three.
Giannis loses another 40-point game
Giannis Antetokounmpo fueled an almighty third quarter comeback as the Milwaukee Bucks won 123-114 over the Minnesota Timberwolves, dropping by 40 points for the fourth time in six games.
The Bucks trailed 61-50 at halftime, but won the third 39-22 led by Antetokounmpo, who finished the game with 43 points on 14-of-23 shooting with 20 rebounds, five assists and two blocks.
Milwaukee had good contributions off the bench of Bobby Portis with 22 points and 14 rebounds and Joe Ingles with 14 points and 10 assists. Anthony Edwards was top scoring for the Wolves with 30 points and 10 rebounds.
McCollum hits a franchise record 11 triples
CJ McCollum hit a franchise-high 11 three-pointers on his way to 42 points as the New Orleans Pelicans downed the Philadelphia 76ers 127-116.
McCollum shot 11-of-16 from beyond the arc in a dazzling display, well supported by Zion Williamson with 36 points on 13-of-19 shooting with five rebounds.
Joel Embiid was strong for the 76ers with 37 points on 14-of-22 shooting with eight rebounds and five assists, while James Harden added 20 points including four 3-pointers and 10 assists.