LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers survived a 47-point outburst by Stephen Curry - and a last-second, near-miss, full-court heave - to stay in control of the Western Conference No. 8 seed with a 118-116 win over the visiting Golden State Warriors on Friday night at Staples Center.
If they will survive a foot injury to Kobe Bryant is another matter entirely.
Bryant exited after hitting two free throws with 3 minutes, six seconds left that tied the game at 109. Already playing on aching limbs after twisting an ankle and injuring a knee earlier in the game, Bryant collapsed, gathered himself to tie the game, then limped off the court.
After the Warriors briefly took the lead on a Klay Thompson 3-pointer to go ahead 116-115 with 1:24 left, Lakers guard Steve Blake responded with two free throws with 42.2 seconds left. Lakers center Dwight Howard grabbed a rebound off a Jarrett Jack miss with two seconds left, hit one of two free throws, and then Los Angeles watched in horror as a Curry Hail Mary nearly went in.
It did not, though, and the Lakers clung to the West's final playoff spot, at 43-37, one full game ahead of the Utah Jazz.
Bryant left the game with 34 points, but Howard's 28 points and Gasol's triple-double of 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists were crucial to the Los Angeles effort. Blake added 14 points, including four 3-pointers, and the Lakers starters made up for a bench that started 0-for-8 and finished with just 10 points.
Curry torched Los Angeles for 32 first-half points and finished 17-for-31 from the field and 9-for-15 from 3-point range. Thompson added 25 points and seven assists for the Warriors and David Lee had 19 points and eight rebounds.
NOTES: The Lakers are still plagued by injuries as Steve Nash (hamstring) and Jordan Hill (hip) missed the game, and Bryant (foot), Pau Gasol (foot), Dwight Howard (shoulder), Antawn Jamison (wrist) and Metta World Peace (knee) played through pain. ... Andrew Bogut (ankle) and Brandon Rush (knee) missed the game for the Warriors. Bogut, who exited the team's 19-point loss to the Thunder, did not travel with the team. ... Los Angeles entered the game with a 2-1 lead in the season series after sweeping Golden State 4-0 in 2011-12. ... The Lakers last lost a season series to the Warriors in 1994-95 and had won nine straight against Golden State at Staples Center before Friday. ... Bryant's 47-point performance against Portland was the 120th 40-point game of his career. It was also a Rose Garden opponent record. ... Lee entered the game with a league-leading 54 double-doubles. ... Curry and Thompson both rank in the top three in the NBA in 3-pointers made. ... Bryant entered the game with 1,682 points against the Warriors, his highest career total against one team.