Zion Williamson and LeBron James face off in Lakers win

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 41 points as Milwaukee Bucks beat Charlotte Hornets

 Zion Williamson and LeBron James embrace before their game at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. Photograph: Getty Images

Zion Williamson and LeBron James embrace before their game at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. Photograph: Getty Images

 

The NBA’s future and present clashed in New Orleans on Sunday as Zion Williamson’s Pelicans went head-to-head with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Just days after the Lakers defeated the Pelicans by nine points in LA, the rematch boiled down to a duel between James and Williamson, with the former just coming out on top.

The 16-time All-Star finished with a 34-point triple double to help LA to a thrilling 122-114 victory, while 19-year-old Williamson posted a career-high 35 points.

The win sees the Lakers improve to five and a half games clear on top of the Western Conference standings.

Trailing just behind LA are the Denver Nuggets, who bounced back from a 29-point loss to the Los Angeles Clippers with a 133-118 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Nikola Jokic was Denver’s standout performer, adding 18 rebounds and 11 assists to his 23-point haul. OG Anunoby’s 32 points led the way for the Raptors.

Meanwhile, the Clippers continued their recent hot streak with a six-point victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. Kawhi Leonard (30) and Paul George (24) combined for 54 points in the 136-130 win.

Another dominant performance from Giannis Antetokounmpo helped the Milwaukee Bucks fend off a tough challenge from the Charlotte Hornets.

Antetokounmpo scored 41 points and claimed 20 rebounds as the Bucks sealed their sixth straight win 93-85.

Kristaps Porzingis put together his best performance of the season as the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 111-91. The Latvian added 18 from deep in a 38-point, 13-rebound effort.

The rest of the day’s action saw the Sacramento Kings overcome the Detroit Pistons 106-100, while the Washington Wizards cruised to a 124-110 win over the Golden State Warriors.

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