OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — LeBron James scored 26 points and the Los Angeles Lakers routed the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-99 on Wednesday night for their franchise-record seventh straight road victory to start the season.
"We just have a bunker mentality on the road — just us," James said. "But obviously, it's even more just us because of the restrictions, COVID, everything that's going on. So we've come together even closer."
Montrezl Harrell added 21 points, and Anthony Davis had 18 points and seven rebounds. The defending champion Lakers have won four straight to improve to an NBA-best 10-3. They surpassed the 1985-86 squad with the 7-0 road start.
But the road is different this season with mostly empty arenas.
"It's all about execution and your level of focus," James said. "You've got to be able to at times build up your own energy. Like tonight, we come off a back-to-back, three in four nights. For us to come off a back-to-back -- in Houston last night, getting in late to OKC and coming out to an arena with no fans — you've got to prosper your own energy from your group, yourself."
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 17 points to lead Oklahoma City.
The Lakers led by 24 in the second quarter before the Thunder cut it to 58-46 at halftime. James scored 15 points in the half.
James hit a 3-pointer with Thunder defensive stopper Lu Dort in his face, then made a 3-pointer and was fouled by Isaiah Roby on the next possession. The free throw gave the Lakers a 74-50 lead. On the Lakers' next possession, James made a layup to give him nine points in 66 seconds. James made 4 of 6 shots and scored 11 points in the third quarter to help the Lakers take a 93-71 lead.
The Lakers' biggest lead was 31 points in the fourth quarter. The Thunder never led.
"It's one of 72 games, and they're all opportunities," Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. "They're all opportunities to compete and they're opportunities to learn, and we've just got to continue to use every experience to continue to grow and move forward."
MAVERICKS 104, HORNETS 93
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Luka Doncic had 34 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists and a career-high four blocks, Kristaps Porzingis scored 16 points in his return from a knee injury and Dallas beat Charlotte.
Tim Hardaway Jr. added 18 points to help Rick Carlisle become the 16th coach in NBA history to win 800 games. The Mavericks have won four straight after opening 2-4.
Porzingis played for the first time since having knee surgery in October. The 7-foot-3 Latvian played 21 minutes, finishing 6 of 16 from the floor and 4 of 9 from beyond the 3-point arc. He had four rebounds.
Terry Rozier had 18 points for the Hornets.
NETS 116, KNICKS 109
NEW YORK (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 26 points as the solo superstar before soon centering a Big Three, leading Brooklyn — short-handed after agreeing to a trade for James Harden — past New York.
Durant was already scheduled to play on both nights of a back-to-back for the first time since surgery to repair his Achilles tendon. He maybe had to do a little more than planned after the Nets shook up their roster earlier in the day with a four-team blockbuster highlighted by the acquisition of Harden.
With point guard Kyrie Irving missing a fifth straight game for personal reasons, the Nets had only nine players.
Julius Randle scored 30 points for the Knicks. They have lost five in a row.
BUCKS 110, PISTONS 101
DETROIT (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his 20th triple-double and Milwaukee beat Detroit for the third time this month.
The Bucks built a big early lead with a flurry of 3-pointers. Brook Lopez connected three times from beyond the arc in the first quarter, when the Bucks were 7 of 11 from long distance. Detroit was 4 of 20 overall in the period and trailed 27-13 after one.
Jrue Holiday added 21 points for the Bucks. Jerami Grant had 22 for Detroit.
GRIZZLIES 118, TIMBERWOLVES 107
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jonas Valanciunas had 24 points and 16 rebounds, Grayson Allen scored a season-high 20 off the bench and Memphis rallied to beat Minnesota.
Brandon Clarke added 19 points for Memphis. Malik Beasley had 28 points for Minnesota. D'Angelo Russell added 25, and Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 points and 14 rebounds.
The teams will meet again Friday night in Minnesota.