Lakers v Pelicans: Ric Flair, LeBron James and Zion Williamson

LeBron James scored a season-high 40 points as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the New Orleans Pelicans 118-109.

The three-time NBA champion scored 16 points in the third quarter, while team-mate Anthony Davis finished with 21 points.

Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson, playing the Lakers for the first time, scored 29 points.

“The kid is special man, they got a good one in him,” James, 35, said of Williamson.

Williamson, 19, who was the number one draft pick, missed the first 44 games of the season with a knee injury.

But in his 13 games since his debut in late January, he has averaged 23.3 points a game and scored 20 points or more in 11 games.

The Lakers have now won six in a row and lead the Western Conference with 44 wins and 12 losses, while the Pelicans are 10th and three wins away from the last play-off spot.

Elsewhere, the Eastern Conference leaders the Milwaukee Bucks beat reigning NBA champions the Toronto Raptors 108-97 for their 50th win this season.

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