Vince Carter had 25 points and Dwight Howard finished with 15 points and 16 rebounds as the Magic beat the Lakers, 96-94, yesterday in Orlando, Fla., to hand Los Angeles its first three-game losing streak of the Pau Gasol-Kobe Bryant era.
Carter made his first 13 free throws and kept the Magic in control, showing signs of why Orlando made the move for the eight-time All-Star after losing to the Lakers in last year’s NBA Finals.
But Carter’s lone miss gave the Lakers a chance at the end, with Bryant’s 20-foot jumper falling short.
Bryant played through a minor stomach illness to score 34 points, and Gasol added 20 for the Lakers.
Bryant and Orlando’s Matt Barnes continuously traded elbows and were each hit with a technical foul in the third quarter after going chest-to-chest in a verbal spat.
Barnes and Derek Fisher would get double fouls in the game’s final minute, with the pair brushing against each other after Barnes threw a blind-sided screen.
76ers 114, Raptors 101 - Thaddeus Young scored a career-high 32 points and Jrue Holiday had 21 to help Philadelphia snap a five-game losing streak.
Chris Bosh, who returned to Toronto’s lineup after a seven-game absence because of a sprained left ankle and a stomach virus, finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds, but the Raptors still lost for the fifth time in six games.
Thunder 108, Kings 102 - Kevin Durant had 27 points and eight rebounds to help visiting Oklahoma City hold back Sacramento.
Russell Westbrook scored 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter for the Thunder, who have won two straight and five of six.
Pistons 110, Rockets 107 - Tayshaun Prince scored a season-high 29 points to help host Detroit snap a six-game losing streak by toppling Houston in overtime.
Nuggets 118, Trail Blazers 106 - Carmelo Anthony scored 30 points to help host Denver win its third straight by routing Portland.