LOS ANGELES -- John Wall sealed a huge comeback with four free throws in the final four seconds and the visiting Washington Wizards defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 101-97 on Friday night at Staples Center.
The Lakers jumped out to an early lead and led by as much as 18, maintaining a double-digit advantage nine minutes into the third quarter, before Washington quickly chipped away at the lead.
The Wizards trimmed the Los Angeles lead to two points by the end of the third quarter and seized control midway through the fourth quarter. The Lakers kept pace for much of the back-and-forth fourth, but Metta World Peace committed a costly offensive foul with 34 seconds left after Washington's Nene put the Wizards up 99-97 with 43 seconds remaining.
The Lakers had one more chance to tie or win it after Dwight Howard grabbed a defensive rebound with 16 seconds left, but Kobe Bryant missed a fadeaway shot and Los Angeles was dealt its second straight loss.
With its roster at full strength for the first time in more than a month as Bryant returned from a sprained ankle and Pau Gasol from a foot injury, the Lakers jumped to a 35-19 first-quarter lead while holding Washington to 30 percent shooting. Los Angeles committed 17 turnovers, though, to let the Wizards back into the game, including six by Bryant.
Wall, the reigning Eastern Conference player of the week, led Washington with 24 points and a career-high 16 assists. Former Laker Trevor Ariza added 25 points off the bench and Nene added 15 points for the Wizards.
Bryant had 21 points and 11 assists to lead Los Angeles, which shot just 65 percent from the free-throw line. Howard had 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers and Jodie Meeks added 16 points off the bench.
NOTES: Pau Gasol last played on Feb. 5 in a 92-83 Lakers win at Brooklyn. Los Angeles went 13-7 in his absence with Earl Clark taking a larger role. ... Emeka Okafor (flu), A.J. Price (groin) and Leandro Barbosa (knee) all missed the game for Washington. ... Kobe Bryant missed the Lakers' 113-102 win over Sacramento on March 17 and 23-point loss on March 18. ... The Lakers win over Sacramento marked the first game since Gasol joined the team that both Bryant and Gasol missed the same game. ... Los Angeles won the teams' first matchup, 102-96, on Dec. 14. The Wizards won the lone matchup between the teams last season after losing nine straight. ... Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak was a 1976 first-round draft pick of the Wizards and a member of the 1977-78 NBA championship squad. ... John Wall has upped his shooting in recent weeks, hitting 57 percent from the field, 83 percent from 3-point range and 86 percent from the free-throw line over his last six games entering Friday.