By Can Erozden
ANKARA (AA) - The Brooklyn Nets beat the Los Angeles Lakers 122-115 on Christmas as the Nets returned from a weeklong COVID-19 hiatus.
Last week, Brooklyn's matches against the Denver Nuggets, Washington Wizards, and Portland Trail Blazers were postponed due to COVID-19 cases.
The Nets manned their shooting guard James Harden against the Lakers on Saturday, while the other superstars of the Eastern Conference team; Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving remained in the league's health and safety protocols.
Brooklyn guards Harden and Patty Mills combined for 70 points in Los Angeles' Crypto.com Arena.
The home court of the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers was renamed Crypto.com Arena on Saturday.
Harden made a triple-double with 36 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds, while Mills scored 34 points and made seven assists in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles point guard Russell Westbrook posted a triple-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.
Lakers superstar LeBron James tallied 39 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
Lakers power forward Carmelo Anthony scored 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Malik Monk added 20 points.
Brooklyn were leading the game 102-82 by the end of the third quarter but Los Angeles narrowed it in the fourth period.
The game tied 115-115 with 45 seconds remaining as Lakers guard Malik Monk scored a layup.
After Brooklyn player Nic Claxton scored an alley-oop dunk and a foul, the Nets took a 118-115 lead with 40 seconds to go.
Lakers' point guard Westbrook missed a driving dunk and immediately fouled Nets guard Harden with 20.6 seconds left in the game.
Harden scored couple of free throws to make it 120-115 for his team.
Then Lakers' James missed a three-point jump shot. Harden, who grabbed the rebound, was fouled by Lakers again to score from free-throw line.
The Eastern Conference leaders Nets have won 22 games and lost nine in this season.
Seventh in the West standings, the Lakers have 16-18 win/loss record.
The Lakers extended their losing streak to five games as they previously lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Chicago Bulls, Phoenix Suns, and San Antonio Spurs.
In the next fixture, the Nets will visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Lakers will play an away game against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday.
- Giannis returns from health protocols, scores 36 points
The Milwaukee Bucks won against the Boston Celtics 117-113 at home as the winning team's superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo returned from NBA's COVID-19 protocols and scored 36 points.
Antetokounmpo took 12 rebounds as well at Fiserv Forum.
Celtics small forward Jayson Tatum racked up 25 points. He also had nine rebounds.
Coming third in the East standings, the Bucks are going 22-13 in the league.
The Celtics are in the ninth position in the Eastern Conference standings with 16 wins. Boston have lost 17 games in the 2021-22 regular season.
- Clippers star George suffers elbow injury
Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George had a ligament injury in his right elbow and he will be out of action for three to four weeks.
The Clippers said that George, 31, suffered from a "torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow."
This season George averaged 24.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.
- Christmas results in NBA:
New York Knicks - Atlanta Hawks: 101-87
Milwaukee Bucks - Boston Celtics: 117-113
Phoenix Suns - Golden State Warriors: 107-116
Los Angeles Lakers - Brooklyn Nets: 115-122
Utah Jazz - Dallas Mavericks: 120-116