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Bobcats bounce Lakers

Bryant scores 58 in 3OT thriller

Washington's Gilbert Arenas (36 points) soars over defenseless Orlando guard Jameer Nelson. Washington's Gilbert Arenas (36 points) soars over defenseless Orlando guard Jameer Nelson. (HARRY E. WALKER/MCT)

Kobe Bryant walked slowly into the locker room, sighed and stopped instead of continuing to his locker to meet reporters.

"I don't want to have to walk all the way over there," Bryant said.

Bryant was exhausted. His 58 points in 55 minutes were offset by two key errors in the third overtime, and the Bobcats outlasted the Los Angeles Lakers, 133-124, last night in Charlotte, N.C.

"I don't want to have to do that," Bryant said of his big scoring night. "It's too tiring."

Bryant spoiled the third-highest point total of his career by committing a foul on Derek Anderson's 3-point attempt with 1:14 left. Anderson hit all three free throws for a 129-124 lead.

Bryant then missed a long jumper and fouled out when Anderson drew a charge on the next possession. Bryant shot 22 of 45.

Emeka Okafor had 22 points and a career-high 25 rebounds, Gerald Wallace scored 28, and Matt Carroll added a career-high 27 points for the Bobcats, who played their first triple-overtime game in franchise history.

Raymond Felton added 22 points and 15 assists in 57 minutes for the Bobcats.

"I'm hurting, no question," Felton said. "But this was one of the best games in history. I'm glad I was a part of it."

Bulls 107, Raptors 97 -- Luol Deng scored 25 points and Ben Gordon added 22 to lead visiting Chicago to its 15th straight victory over Toronto.

Deng had 19 points in the second half for the Bulls, who shot a season-high 59.7 percent. Chicago has not lost to Toronto since Dec. 6, 2002, when it ended a 16-game losing streak to the Raptors.

Wizards 112, Magic 111 -- Caron Butler made the go-ahead basket, a 16-footer from the baseline with 46 seconds remaining and Gilbert Arenas scored 14 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter as host Washington edged Orlando, putting the Wizards alone atop the Southeast Division.

Washington has won a season-high five straight and has made up a six-game deficit to the Magic since the start of December. The Wizards have scored 106 or more points in 13 straight games, more than compensating for the fact that they're last in the league in scoring defense. They haven't been in first place this late since the 1978-79 season.

Clippers 102, Kings 93 -- Elton Brand scored 22 points as host Los Angeles beat snapped a 14-game losing streak to Sacramento.

Rockets 94, Hawks 68 -- Tracy McGrady showed no signs of his recent back problems, scoring 31 points to lead host Houston to a rout of bad-shooting Atlanta.

Juwan Howard added 17 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 assists for Houston.

76ers 98, Blazers 95 -- Andre Igoudala scored a career-high 32 points and Philadelphia trimmed host Portland.

Pacers 93, Pistons 92 -- Darrell Armstrong made a free throw with 0.9 seconds left to give Indiana the victory in Detroit.

Suns 108, Knicks 86 -- Steve Nash and Raja Bell led six Suns with 20 points apiece as Phoenix coasted past New York in the opener of a five-game road trip for the Knicks.

Hornets 99, Nuggets 89 -- At Oklahoma City, Rasual Butler scored 20 points, including a big 3-point play in the closing minutes, to lead New Orleans past Denver.

Timberwolves 101, SuperSonics 82 -- Ricky Davis scored 24 points and Mark Blount added 18 to lead Minnesota past sleepy Seattle in Minneapolis.

Nets 91, Heat 81 -- Vince Carter had 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists and visiting New Jersey scored 21 consecutive points in the third quarter to paste Miami, which is still dealing with the absence of Dwyane Wade, who has a balky wrist.

Cavaliers 109, Bucks 99 -- LeBron James scored 32 points and Donyell Marshall added 29 as host Cleveland snapped Milwaukee's six-game winning streak.

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