Kobe Bryant took over the game by scoring 16 of his 24 points in the third quarter, and Andrew Bynum added 7 points in his season debut as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Wizards, 103-89, last night in Washington.
Bryant scored 12 straight points during a 17-2 third-quarter run that put the game away. The Lakers won for the fifth time in six games, including three of the first four on their seven-game East Coast trip.
Bryant’s hot streak came shortly after a dubious NBA hat trick. Fouled while attempting a 3-pointer, he missed all three free throws to the boos and laughter of the
A few minutes later, Bryant had quieted Wizards fans and had the large contingent of Lakers fans cheering. His fadeaway 3-pointer from the left baseline rolled around the rim and fell in. Then came a 3-pointer from the right baseline. Then he was fouled attempting another 3, and this time he made all three free throws. Then came another 3 that made the score 80-64.
Bryant played only 24 minutes — scoring exactly a point per minute — and finished 7 for 13 from the field, including 4 for 6 from 3-point range.
Bynum, who had offseason surgery to repair a partially torn ligament in his right knee, came off the bench and played 17 minutes, shooting 1 for 5 from the field and 5 for 8 from the line.
Pau Gasol added 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists for the Lakers. Lamar Odom had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Shannon Brown scored 16 points.
Nick Young scored 21 points off the bench to lead the Wizards, who have lost five straight.
Nuggets 111, Magic 94 — Carmelo Anthony scored 35 points and host Denver pulled away in the final five minutes to beat Orlando, despite J.J. Redick’s career-high 29 points.
Anthony hit 14 of 21 shots from the floor and pulled down 11 rebounds. Nene had 10 points and 10 boards for the Nuggets, who were coming off a 1-3 trip and improved to an NBA-best 11-1 at home.
Pistons 103, Hawks 80 — Richard Hamilton scored 24 points and host Detroit ended a four-game losing streak.
Charlie Villanueva added 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons. Josh Smith led the Hawks with 26 points.
Bobcats 97, Raptors 91 — Nazr Mohammed had 18 points and eight rebounds, Tyrus Thomas hit the go-ahead jumper with just over a minute left, and host Charlotte overcame Stephen Jackson’s poor night to beat Toronto.
Jackson was held to 7 points before fouling out.
Rockets 118, Kings 105 — Luis Scola had 23 points and 10 rebounds in three quarters as host Houston rolled past Sacramento.
76ers 82, Nets 77 — Spencer Hawes scored a season-high 18 points and Philadelphia snapped an eight-game road losing streak with a victory over New Jersey.
Brook Lopez scored 16 points for the Nets, who lost their eighth straight.
Warriors 108, Timberwolves 99 — Monta Ellis scored 34 points and Reggie Williams added 26 as host Golden State beat Minnesota.