Lakers Bounce Back
Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert, left, works the ball inside against Toronto Raptors center Aaron Gray (34) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)
Charlotte, n.c. — Kobe Bryant shrugged off a scoreless first half to finish with 20 points, eight assists and seven rebounds and the Los Angeles Lakers overcome a 20-point second-half deficit to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 100-93 last night.
The Lakers avoided a costly defeat to the NBA’s worst team and pulled within three games of .500 one night after suffering a blowout loss to the Celtics.
Bryant attempted only two shots in the first half and didn’t bother coming out for warmups to start the second half.
But he provided the jolt the Lakers needed in the third quarter and scored 14 points in the final period, including a driving layup with 40 seconds left to push the lead to five.
Steve Nash and Earl Clark each had 17 points and Dwight Howard had 12 points, all in the first half, and 11 rebounds for the Lakers (24-27).
Wizards 89, Nets 74
Washington — The Wizards held Brooklyn without a field goal for nearly nine minutes during the first half, survived a second-half slump and held on for their latest win over a team near the top of the standings.
Nene had 20 points and 11 rebounds, John Wall added 15 points and nine assists, and Martell Webster scored 16 points for the Wizards, who have one of the worst records in the NBA, but have nevertheless taken eight of their last nine at home — a stretch that includes wins over Oklahoma City, Atlanta, Chicago, New York and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Pistons 119, Spurs 109
Auburn Hills, Mich. — Greg Monroe had 26 points and 16 rebounds, and the Detroit Pistons snapped San Antonio’s 11-game winning streak.
San Antonio played without Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, and the Pistons led by as many as 21 points in the second quarter. It was 65-52 at halftime, and although the Spurs cut the deficit to seven in the fourth, they fell short against a Detroit team that equaled its highest score of the season.
Hornets 111, Hawks 100
Atlanta — Greivis Vasquez had his first career triple-double and Eric Gordon scored 27 points, leading New Orleans over Atlanta.
Vasquez scored 21 points, dished out 12 assists and grabbed 11 rebounds for New Orleans, which rallied from a 14-point deficit in the first half and withstood a late charge by the stumbling Hawks.
Al Horford drove for a slam that cut the Hornets’ lead to 98-94 with 3½ minutes remaining. But Ryan Anderson sank a 3-pointer that caught the front of the rim, bounced high off the backboard and fell through. Anderson pumped his right fist; the Hawks never got closer than five the rest of the way.
Cavaliers 119, Magic 108
Cleveland — Kyrie Irving scored 24 points and Cleveland defeated Orlando, sending the Magic to their 12th straight loss.
Marreese Speights scored 18 points and Tristan Thompson added 16 for Cleveland, which scored 13 straight points in a stretch that began late in the third period to take control of the game.
Pacers 98 (ot)
Indianapolis — Rudy Gay scored 17 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, leading Toronto over Indiana.
The game went into overtime after Amir Johnson’s buzzer-beating tip-in stood following a replay review. The Raptors won it when Gay hit a 17-foot jumper with 1.7 seconds left and Paul George’s 15-footer rimmed out as the horn sounded.
David West scored 30 points and George had 26 as the Pacers’ 15-game home winning streak came to an end.
DeMar DeRozan scored 22 to make Toronto (18-32) the first team to win twice at Indiana (31-20) this season.
Indiana appeared to have the game won when West grabbed a rebound in the closing seconds of regulation with the Pacers clinging to a 90-88 lead, but he threw the ball away and Johnson’s tip sent it to overtime.