Lakers Get Step on NBA-Leading OKC
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (0), of the Republic of Congo, and Los Angeles Lakers forward Antawn Jamison (4) collide while going for possession of the ball in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Los Angeles — Kobe Bryant had 21 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds, Steve Nash added seven of his 17 points in the final 5½ minutes, and the Los Angeles Lakers held off the NBA-leading Oklahoma City Thunder 105 yesterday.
Pau Gasol scored 16 points in a reserve role as the Lakers picked up the most impressive victory of their thoroughly unimpressive season, coolly maintaining a small lead down the stretch of their second straight win after a four-game skid.
Los Angeles had lost nine of its last 11 against the powerful Thunder, including four of five in the clubs’ second-round playoff series last spring.
Kevin Durant scored 35 points and Russell Westbrook had 17 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds for the road-weary Thunder, who finished their longest trip of the season at 3-3.
Bryant and Westbrook briefly tangled in the third quarter in an exchange that earned a technical foul for Kobe. Both All-Star guards entered the fourth quarter needing just one rebound for a triple-double, but neither got it.
Westbrook also missed his first eight shots and 12 of his first 13 before finding his shot, but the Lakers didn’t wilt down the stretch.
Los Angeles took the lead with 6:15 to play on a jumper by Metta World Peace, who had 15 points and 10 rebounds. The Lakers nursed a small advantage in the final minutes, going up 101-95 on Gasol’s driving layup with 1:09 to play.
Bryant then hit a tough 19-foot jumper with 37 seconds left, and Westbrook couldn’t answer. Durant didn’t have a field goal in the final 6:39, scoring just seven points in the fourth quarter of Oklahoma City’s third loss in 11 games.
Knicks 106, Hawks 104
New York — Carmelo Anthony tied a franchise record with nine 3-pointers, then converted a go-ahead, three-point play with 12.5 seconds left to cap a 42-point night and lead New York to the victory.
Atlanta shot a season-high 60 percent from the field but had its three-game winning streak snapped when Josh Smith, burned on Anthony’s basket, missed a 3-pointer on Atlanta’s final possession.
Amare Stoudemire and J.R. Smith each had 18 points for the Knicks, who were 16-of-27 (59 percent) from 3-point range. Raymond Felton had 12 points and 10 assists in his second game back after a 10-game absence with a broken right pinky.
Jeff Teague scored 27 points for the Hawks. Smith added 20 and Al Horford had 16.
Mavericks 110, Suns 95
Dallas — Shawn Marion scored 18 points for Dallas in his 1,000th game, and Dirk Nowitzki also had 18 while passing Allen Iverson on the career scoring list.
It was the 10th straight home win for the Mavericks against the Suns, who haven’t won in Dallas since March 14, 2007.
Nowitzki passed Iverson for 18th on the NBA’s scoring list with a third-quarter jumper that stopped a Phoenix run, and his 3-pointer early in the fourth started a surge that put Dallas in control for good.
Hornets 91, Grizzlies 83
Memphis, Tenn. — Ryan Anderson scored 22 points for New Orleans, connecting on seven 3-pointers.
Anderson was 7-of-13 from the field, all of his attempts coming from outside the arc. Fellow reserve Jason Smith was 5-of-7 from the field for 16 points, and Anthony Davis was the only New Orleans starter to finish in double figures with 10 points.
The Hornets had dropped consecutive games.
Zach Randolph led Memphis with 20 points and 13 rebounds for his league-leading 28th double-double. Marc Gasol had 14 points and 11 boards, and Jerryd Bayless also scored 14. Rudy Gay had 10 points, but was 3-for-17 from the field, including a 1-for-7 performance from long range.
Pistons 104, Magic 102
Orlando, Fla. — Brandon Knight had a career-high 31 points, including five 3-pointers, and Greg Monroe scored 17 to lead Detroit to the road win.
The Magic had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds after a missed free throw, but missed three putback attempts.
Orlando’s J.J. Redick tied a career high with 31 points and set a career high with eight 3-pointers. Jameer Nelson had 18 points and eight assists, and Glen Davis added 17 points and 12 rebounds.
The Magic have lost five straight games.