A minute later Howard strode into Harrell, prompting another shove and a second technical that spelled the end of Howard’s night.
Kyle Kuzma scored 25 points to lead the Lakers. Dennis Schroder and Harrell scored 20 each for Los Angeles, who have yet to find a way to win with James sidelined by a high ankle sprain and star big man Anthony Davis still “a ways away” from returning from a right calf injury according to coach Frank Vogel.
The Los Angeles Clippers shrugged off the absence of star Kawhi Leonard and the trade of standout reserve Lou Williams to beat the San Antonio Spurs 98-85.
He was traded shortly before Thursday’s deadline in a deal that brings point guard Rajon Rondo to the Clippers from Atlanta.
“Everybody felt it throughout the locker room,” George said. “He’s a presence, not only on the floor but in the locker room, on the bus — he’s a presence that’s going to be missed.”
Elsewhere, CJ McCollum put Portland on the right track and Damian Lillard came through at the end as the Trail Blazers held off the depleted Miami Heat 125-122 on Thursday.
McCollum scored 29 of his 35 points in the first half and Lillard scored 14 of his 22 after the interval — including three free throws in the final second that put the Blazers over the top in a tight back-and-forth battle that featured 24 lead changes — a dozen of them in the final quarter.
– Knicks rally –
In New York, the Knicks rallied from a 17-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Washington Wizards 106-102.
Alec Burks scored 15 of his 27 points off the bench in the fourth quarter. RJ Barrett added 24 points, 10 rebounds and five assists and Immanuel Quickley chipped in 16 points for New York — who trailed until the fourth quarter when they out-scored Washington 39-24.
Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 26 points and nine assists but connected on just eight of 23 shots from the field.
Washington’s Russell Westbrook endured an even worse shooting night, making three of 15 from the field and not a single basket in the second half.
In Sacramento, De’Aaron Fox scored a career-high 44 points to lead the Kings over the Golden State Warriors 141-119.
Fox made 16 of his 22 shots from the field and handed out seven assists, posting his second 40-point game of the season.
Andrew Wiggins led the Warriors with 26 points. Kelly Oubre and Nico Mannion scored 19 each, but it wasn’t enough as Stephen Curry missed a fourth straight game with a bruised tailbone and Draymond Green was sidelined by illness.