Kobe's 40 Lifts Lakers Over Clippers


Wednesday, November 22nd 2006, 6:25 am
By: News On 6


Kobe Bryant kept Staples Center bragging rights on the Lakers' side of the hallway.

Bryant scored a season-high 40 points Tuesday night, giving the Lakers a 105-101 victory over the Clippers in the first meeting this season between the Los Angeles rivals.

The Lakers won their fourth straight and handed the Clippers their first loss at Staples Center this season. The Clippers are 6-0 at home, but they were technically the road team Tuesday.

``Laker fans were happy, Clipper fans were sad,'' Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. ``We did a great job on Kobe. He got to the free throw line on us and that's probably the difference in the game.''

Bryant went 12-of-23 from the field and 15-of-18 from the line before a sellout crowd of 18,997 while keeping the Lakers on top for now in the rivalry _ and the standings. They moved a game ahead of the Clippers and Golden State in the Pacific Division.

``As players, it's just another game,'' Bryant said. ``But when the whole city gets involved with this atmosphere, we can't help but respond.''

In other games, it was: Indiana 93, Milwaukee 88; Detroit 97, Philadelphia 87; Cleveland 97, Memphis 94; New Orleans 101, Miami 86; Dallas 107, Washington 80; Denver 113, Chicago 109.

At Los Angeles, Bryant scored 10 points in the final 5:38 after the Lakers had gone scoreless over a stretch of almost seven minutes spanning the third and fourth quarters. It was another big step for last season's scoring champion, who had knee surgery late in the summer.

``He's doing things a little quicker, making his moves a little quicker, with not as much hesitation,'' Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.

Lamar Odom finished with 18 points for the Lakers, but was 6-of-18 from the floor, 4-of-10 from the line and committed four turnovers. Kwame Brown had 10 points and 14 rebounds.

Elton Brand led the Clippers with 20 points and 15 rebounds, and Corey Maggette scored 20 points. Chris Kaman had 12 points and 10 rebounds before he fouled out with 5:15 remaining.

Mavericks 107, Wizards 80

At Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki scored seven of his 30 points in a game-turning run that ended the third quarter, and the Mavericks won their seventh straight.

The Mavs haven't lost since following their trip to the NBA finals by starting 0-4 for the first time. Their winning streak is the longest in the NBA, one more than Utah, which was off Tuesday night.

Gilbert Arenas finished with 29 points for Washington, which fell to 0-5 on the road.

Nuggets 113, Bulls 109

At Denver, J.R. Smith scored a career-high 36 points, Carmelo Anthony added 29, and Denver sent Chicago to its fifth straight loss.

Anthony missed two free throws in the closing seconds, ending his streak of 30-point games at six. That left him tied for the franchise record with Alex English, who did it during the 1982-83 season.

Kirk Hinrich scored 28 points for the Bulls.

Cavaliers 97, Grizzlies 94

At Cleveland, Drew Gooden scored a season-high 22 points, LeBron James kicked in 15 and Damon Jones hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.

The Cavaliers, who have won six of seven, nearly blew a 20-point lead in the second half but made big shots and big plays down the stretch to improve the Eastern Conference's best record to 8-3.

Chucky Atkins had 17 to lead the Grizzlies.

Hornets 101, Heat 86

At Oklahoma City, Peja Stojakovic scored 23 points, and New Orleans' reserves sparked a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter to pull away from Miami.

Dwyane Wade had 29 points for the Heat, and Jason Williams added 13.

Pistons 97, 76ers 87

At Philadelphia, Rasheed Wallace had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Detroit took advantage of Allen Iverson's absence.

Tayshaun Prince added 25 points and Richard Hamilton scored 16 as Detroit (6-5) won its third straight game. Chauncey Billups finished with 11 points and 11 assists.

Iverson, who leads Philadelphia and is third in the NBA in scoring, missed the game after undergoing oral surgery to remove an abscessed wisdom tooth earlier in the day. His status for Wednesday night's game at Milwaukee is uncertain.

His replacement in the starting lineup, Willie Green, led the 76ers with a season-high 24 points.

Pacers 93, Bucks 88

At Indianapolis, the Pacers rallied in the final three minutes by scoring the last 14 points to beat Milwaukee for the second time in four days.

Jermaine O'Neal finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds. Jamaal Tinsley added 17 points, and Al Harrington, who missed Saturday's game at Milwaukee with back spasms, finished with seven points and 18 rebounds.

Maurice Williams scored 22 points for the Bucks and Michael Redd had 21, well below his average of 30.3.