Lakers push past Celtics, 90-89
BOSTON — The Los Angeles Lakers are doing their best to forget all those awful memories of playing in the Boston Garden.
Kobe Bryant sank the go-ahead basket with 7.3 seconds left, and the Lakers won 90-89 yesterday for their third consecutive victory over the struggling Celtics. Boston has not been able to make good on the traditional "Beat L.A.!" chant since winning 131-92 to clinch the 2008 NBA championship here in Game 6 of the finals.
"They smacked us two years ago," Lakers forward Lamar Odom said. "It was a big game for us. This is a team that's going to be battling to be coming out of the East."
The Celtics led by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter and nursed a one-point lead until Paul Pierce was called for an offensive foul for pushing off as he jumped to shoot with 28 seconds left.
Enter Bryant, who shot just 8 for 20 but hit the big one: making a move toward the basket before stepping back from Ray Allen's defense and swishing the ball through the net to give Los Angeles its only lead of the second half.
"I didn't say give me one more chance. I said give me the damn ball," said Bryant, who finished with 19 points. "I never really give (coach Phil Jackson) much of a choice."
Cavaliers 114, Clippers 89: LeBron James scored half of Cleveland's 46 points in the first quarter and the streaking Cavaliers tied an NBA record with 11 3-pointers in the opening period of their victory over visiting Los Angeles.
The 46 points tied a franchise mark for most in a quarter. James finished with 32 points and 11 assists.
Nuggets 103, Spurs 89: Kenyon Martin scored 27 points and Denver won again without Carmelo Anthony (sprained ankle) against host San Antonio.
Raptors 117, Pacers 102: Chris Bosh had 26 points and 15 rebounds, Andrea Bargnani scored 17 points and host Toronto won its fifth straight game by beating Indiana.
Thunder 112, Warriors 104: Kevin Durant scored a season-high 45 points, Russell Westbrook added 28 points and eight assists, and host Oklahoma City beat Golden State.
Magic 91, Pistons 86: J.J. Redick scored 17 points and Dwight Howard put up 16 points and 14 rebounds as Orlando beat host Detroit.
76ers 83, Nets 79: Andre Iguodala scored 14 points, including seven in a key portion of the third quarter, leading Philadelphia over host New Jersey.
Timberwolves 112, Knicks 91: Kevin Love had a career-high 25 points to go with 11 rebounds and host Minnesota beat New York.
Suns 115, Rockets 111, OT: Amare Stoudemire scored a season-high 36 points, Steve Nash handed out 16 assists and Phoenix beat host Houston.