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LeBron James, Russell Westbrook log triple doubles, lead Lakers past Rockets

Forward LeBron James scored 14 points over the final 12 minutes to help the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Houston Rockets on Tuesday in Houston. Photo by Caroline Brehman/EPA-EFE
Forward LeBron James scored 14 points over the final 12 minutes to help the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Houston Rockets on Tuesday in Houston. Photo by Caroline Brehman/EPA-EFE

Dec. 29 (UPI) -- LeBron James and Russell Westbrook each logged triple-double performances and Carmelo Anthony chipped in 24 points off the bench to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a win over the Houston Rockets.

James totaled a game-high 32 points in the 132-123 victory Tuesday at Toyota Center in Houston. He also logged 11 rebounds and 11 assists. Westbrook totaled 24 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

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"I just feel like I'm in a really good offensive zone right now,'' James told reporters.

James started at center for the first time of his career. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel missed the game due to his placement in the NBA's COVID-19 protocol.

''This guy [James] is unbelievable,'' said Lakers assistant coach David Fizdale, who filled in for Vogel. ''We're all very lucky as basketball people to get to watch what we're watching with this man.''

The Lakers out-rebounded the Rockets 48-30, but the teams each logged 56 points in the paint and 16 points off turnovers. The game featured nine lead changes and was tied 15 times. The win ended the Lakers' five-game losing streak.

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James scored 13 points in the first quarter, but the Rockets took a 35-34 edge into the second. The Lakers led 67-59 at halftime. The Rockets outscored the Lakers 33-30 in the third quarter, but trailed 97-92 to start the fourth.

The Lakers scored the first five points of the final frame and never trailed again. James scored 14 points over the final 12 minutes.

Anthony totaled nine rebounds, in addition to his 24 points. Lakers guard Malik Monk scored 25 points in the win. Guard Jalen Green paced the Rockets with 24 points. Christian Wood and Kevin Porter Jr. chipped in 22 points apiece in the loss.

The Lakers (17-18) battle the Memphis Grizzlies (21-14) at 8 p.m. EST Wednesday in Memphis. The Rockets (10-25) host the Miami Heat (22-13) at 7 p.m. EST Friday in Houston.

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