Kobe Bryant scored 19 points and tied a season high with 14 assists despite a nagging left foot injury, and the Los Angeles Lakers kept pace for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot by outlasting the Kings, 103-98, Saturday night in Sacramento.
Bryant added nine rebounds and facilitated the Lakers’ offense for 48 minutes after Steve Nash exited early in the first quarter with a recurring right hamstring injury. Bryant also passed Lakers great Wilt Chamberlain (31,419 points) for fourth on the NBA’s career scoring list, after starting 4 points shy of the mark.
Dwight Howard added 24 points and 15 rebounds, and Steve Blake scored 15 points for the Lakers, who stayed even with Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot.
Mavericks 100, Bulls 98 — Dirk Nowitzki hit a 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left and Dallas rallied to beat visiting Chicago.
The Mavericks trailed by 12 in the fourth quarter, but Nowitzki scored Dallas’s last 8 points in a closing 15-1 run over the final 3½ minutes. He finished with a season-high 35 points.
After Jimmy Butler missed two free throws with 15.9 seconds remaining, Nowitzki connected on the winning three with Luol Deng running at him. Chicago’s Nate Robinson then missed a shot at the buzzer that would have tied it.
Robinson scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth in Chicago’s first game since ending the Miami Heat’s 27-game winning streak.
Rockets 98, Clippers 81 — Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons, and Francisco Garcia scored 15 points apiece to lead Houston to a 98-81 victory over visiting Los Angeles.
Garcia had his best game as a Rocket, hitting 3 of 5 shots from beyond the arc as a spark off the bench to help Houston snap a two-game losing streak.
Lin and Parsons combined for 13 points in Houston’s pivotal third quarter, when the Rockets outscored Los Angeles, 30-13. The rally gave Houston a 22-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, and Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro had seen enough.
Jazz 116, Nets 107 — Randy Foye scored 26 points, tying a career high with eight 3-pointers, and Utah forced visiting Brooklyn into 17 turnovers.
Brook Lopez led Brooklyn with 27 points. Deron Williams had 21 points on 6 of 14 shooting, with 11 assists.
Grizzlies 99, Timberwolves 86 — Marc Gasol scored 21 points and Darrell Arthur had 12 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter as Memphis topped host Minnesota.
Pacers 112, Suns 104 — Paul George scored 25 points to lead all five Indiana starters in double figures and the visiting Pacers won their fourth straight. The victory lifted the Pacers a half-game ahead of idle New York for second in the Eastern Conference.
Warriors 125, Trail Blazers 98 — Stephen Curry scored 39 points, Carl Landry had a season-high 25 points and 10 rebounds and host Golden State rolled over visiting Portland.
Hawks 97, Magic 88 — Ivan Johnson scored a season-high 21 points off the bench, and Devin Harris had 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter as host Atlanta pulled away to from Orlando.
Thunder 109, Bucks 99 — Kevin Durant scored 30 points, Russell Westbrook had a triple-double (23 points, 10 assists, 13 rebounds), and visiting Oklahoma City beat Milwaukee.
76ers 100, Bobcats 92 — Jrue Holiday scored 10 straight points down the stretch, Evan Turner finished with 21, and host Philadelphia held off Charlotte.