Lakers 108, Warriors 103
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Happy anniversary, Kobe Bryant.
A year to the day after his startling 81-point performance, Bryant scored 42, and the Los Angeles Lakers rallied to beat the Golden State Warriors 108-103 on Monday night despite a season-high 24 turnovers.
Bryant said Jan. 22 will always be a special date for him, but probably more so as the years go on.
“It’s cool because a lot of people are still excited about it, they still talk about it,” Bryant said of his sensational game. “The thing that was special was my grandmother was here. That’s the only game she’s ever seen me play professionally.”
Bryant’s grandmother lives in Philadelphia. His 81 points during a 122-104 victory over Toronto last Jan. 22 is the second-highest total in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point effort for Philadelphia against the New York Knicks in March 1962.
Maurice Evans scored 14 points, Brian Cook added 13, Smush Parker scored 11 and Andrew Bynum had 10 points and a career-high 15 rebounds for the Lakers (27-15), who snapped a season-high two-game losing streak.
They have lost two straight four times this season, but responded on each occasion with a victory in their next game.
“We like the fact that we’ve been able to stop the bleeding early and get back on the right track,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “It gives the team some confidence.”
The win was the Lakers’ sixth straight over Golden State and 11th in the last 12 games between the teams.
Luke Walton scored six straight Los Angeles points to give the Lakers a 103-101 lead with 1:11 remaining, and the Lakers were on top the rest of the way. Walton had only two points before that.
Bryant had 14 points in the final period, when the Lakers outscored the Warriors 28-18 while committing only one turnover.
“I kind of had to get after it a little bit,” he said. “It was one of those games where we were a little lethargic. I had to attack more than usual. We managed to find a way to get it done. Golden State had quick hands—it took us three quarters to get adjusted to their speed.”
Al Harrington, playing his second game since being acquired from Indiana last week, led Golden State with 30 points. Monta Ellis added 16 points, Baron Davis had 15 points and seven assists, and Mickael Pietrus had 14 points and a career-high 14 rebounds for the Warriors (19-23), who have lost six of their last seven games.
Davis sat out the last 3:54 of play because of his left calf cramped.
“I thought it was something minor, but I wasn’t able to run down the court,” he said. “Every time I tried to get up to go back in the game, it kept cramping up.
“We could have pulled this out, regardless of the injury. We just have to play more cohesive out there.”
A three-point play by Ellis and two free throws by Stephen Jackson put Golden State ahead 99-95, but the Lakers outscored the Warriors 13-4 after that.
A dunk by Bryant and two free throws by Walton tied the game before a jumper by Sarunas Jasikevicius put the Warriors back on top. Walton’s first field goal in nine attempts tied the game for the final time before his putback of Bryant’s miss with 1:11 left put the Lakers ahead for good.
“The ball would not drop for me,” Walton said. “I told myself to keep doing what you do, you’ll make some shots.”
After a miss by Jackson, Bryant made two free throws. Parker added a steal and layup to clinch the victory.
“We played for 44 minutes,” Harrington said. “We could have rebounded better. I know I could have. I had only one rebound, and that may have been the difference in the game.”
The Lakers outrebounded the Warriors 51-36 and went 31-of-41 from the foul line to Golden State’s 14-of-20.
Harrington scored seven points and Ellis five during a 15-1 run that gave Golden State a 74-67 lead, and the Warriors led 85-80 entering the final period. By that time, the Lakers had committed 23 turnovers to match their previous season high.
The Lakers are 14-1 against the Warriors at Staples Center since the facility opened in 1999. … Davis returned from a one-game suspension for taking a swing at Quinton Ross of the Clippers last Wednesday night. … Starters Lamar Odom and Kwame Brown remain sidelined, but both said they hope to play Friday night when the Lakers return to action against Charlotte. Odom has missed 21 games since spraining a right knee ligament Dec. 12, and Brown has missed 11 since spraining his right ankle Dec. 31. … The Warriors used their NBA-leading 22nd different starting lineup this season. No other team had used more than 15 different lineups entering Monday’s action. … The Lakers are 19-4 at home this season. Dallas and Phoenix have 19-3 homecourt records—best in the NBA. The Mavericks (34-8) and Suns (32-8) also have the best overall records in the league.