Kobe Bryant thinks Chris Bosh is an MVP candidate.
Bosh had 29 points and 11 rebounds, Bryant missed a potential tying 3-pointer in the final seconds, and the Raptors won their season-high fifth straight, 96-92, over the Los Angeles Lakers last night in Toronto.
Fans chanted "M-V-P! M-V-P!" when Bosh went to the line late in the game.
"Everybody is going to be up there for MVP," Bryant said. "I think he's a legitimate candidate just because of what he's been able to do with this team, with this franchise and how he's performed. He made some big shots down the stretch."
Bosh scored 5 of Toronto's last 10 points after Los Angeles rallied to tie after trailing by 11.
The Raptors (27-23) matched their win total from last season. They needed 80 games last season to reach 27 wins.
"This is a lot different from last year," said Bosh, a first-time All-Star starter. "Last year guys got rattled a little bit and made mistakes. We're just moving the ball so well and relying on one another."
Anthony Parker added 18 points for the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors, who have won seven straight at home and 14 of 18 overall.
Toronto is just four games behind Detroit for first place in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors play in Detroit tonight.
Bryant scored 25 points for the Lakers, who dropped to 3-4 on their eight-game road trip.
Magic 106, Spurs 104 -- Dwight Howard leaped high over Tim Duncan to grab a long inbounds pass from Hedo Turkoglu with one hand and dunk it with 0.2 seconds left, giving host Orlando the victory.
"Dwight had to go up and touch the clouds over Timmy and get it one-handed and put it in," the Spurs' Brent Barry said. "It was a remarkable play."
It was the first winning shot of Howard's career at any level and finished off a night in which he scored 30 points and grabbed eight rebounds. He also blocked three shots, including one by Spurs guard Tony Parker with 0.8 seconds left to set up the winning play.
"Everything had to be perfect, starting with the pass and Dwight just finished it off the way only he can," Magic coach Brian Hill said.
Jameer Nelson added a season-high 31 for the Magic, who rallied from an 18-point deficit to stop a three-game losing streak.
Hawks 120, Suns 111 -- Former Sun Joe Johnson scored 17 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter to lead visiting Atlanta over a Phoenix team sorely missing ace playmaker Steve Nash.
Johnson, who asked to be traded to Atlanta after the 2004-05 season, made a pair of late 3-pointers, one in a decisive 8-0 surge. He made 10 of 25 shots but was 4 for 7 in the fourth quarter.
Nash has missed the last 2 1/2 games because of inflammation in his right shoulder. Coach Mike D'Antoni said he expects Nash to play tomorrow when the Suns are home against Chicago.
Cavaliers 103, Heat 79 -- LeBron James ended a mini-scoring slump with 29 points, and host Cleveland did a better job containing Miami's Dwyane Wade in snapping the Heat's five-game winning streak.
Wade finished with 27 points, but he never got a chance to take over the way he did a week ago when he outscored Cleveland, 24-23, in the fourth quarter and had 41 points in Miami's 92-89 win.
Nuggets 102, Pacers 95 -- Carmelo Anthony celebrated his late addition to the Western Conference All-Star team by scoring 34 points, and visiting Denver snapped a three-game losing streak.
Mavericks 95, Rockets 74 -- Josh Howard, chosen as a Western Conference All-Star earlier in the day, had 22 points to lead Dallas to its team-record 17th straight home victory.
Trail Blazers 108, Bobcats 100 -- Zach Randolph had 40 points, and Jarrett Jack added 12 of his 20 points in overtime to lift visiting Portland.
Grizzlies 105, Timberwolves 97 -- Rudy Gay scored 19 points, including seven in overtime, to help host Memphis snap a four-game losing streak and send Minnesota to its fifth loss in six games.
Warriors 123, Bulls 121 -- Monta Ellis hit the go-ahead jumper with 43 seconds remaining in overtime, leading host Golden State. Al Harrington scored 24 points before fouling out in the extra period for the Warriors.
Clippers 90, 76ers 89 -- Sam Cassell scored 22 points to spark Los Angeles score its first win in Philadelphia in 11 years.