Bryant becomes Lakers' top scorer
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Kobe Bryant got the Los Angeles Lakers' franchise scoring record, but the Memphis Grizzlies spoiled the celebration.
Bryant scored 44 points, passing Jerry West as the Lakers' career scorer, but it wasn't enough as the Grizzlies got 22 points and 17 rebounds from Zach Randolph to defeat the Lakers, 95-93, last night.
West, who played for the Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers, scored 25,192 points from 1960 through 1974. Bryant, whose rookie year was 1996, now has 25,208 career points.
"It's a great honor to say the least (because) of the great players that have played here and the tradition we have," Bryant said of becoming the Lakers' career leading scorer. "(West, as Lakers general manager) taught me so much when I was 17 years old. He showed me a lot about the game, the jump shot and spin moves and all the others."
Bryant passed West's mark on a breakaway dunk in the third quarter. Bryant made 16 of 28 shots.
Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies with 25 points, and his 3-pointer with 29.5 seconds left helped Memphis end its two-game losing streak.
"I was open and Marc (Gasol) gave me a good pass, and I made the shot," Gay said. "You know I've never been reluctant to shoot at the end of the game."
Bryant actually had the ball for the last possession, but gave up the ball as the clock wound down with Memphis defenders surrounding him.
Trail Blazers 98, Bobcats 79: LaMarcus Aldridge scored 17 points, Nicolas Batum and Jerryd Bayless had 15 points each, and host Portland beat Charlotte. Rudy Fernandez scored 11 points, while Martell Webster and Dante Cunningham had 10 for Portland. Andre Miller, who had 52 points on Saturday, added eight points and 10 assists.
Bucks 97, Heat 81: Andrew Bogut had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Carlos Delfino finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and visiting Milwaukee beat Miami for the second time in three nights. Charlie Bell and Hakim Warrick each scored 12 for the Bucks, who outscored Miami 54-27 over the final 19 1/2 minutes of the first half.
Celtics 99, Wizards 88: Kevin Garnett's 19 points led six Celtics in double figures, and visiting Boston limited Washington to 2-for-18 shooting in the fourth quarter. The Wizards led by eight points late in the third quarter, but the Celtics used a 16-4 run to go up 86-82 in the fourth.
Suns 109, Hornets 100: Amare Stoudemire scored 25 points and Grant Hill hit two late key baskets to help visiting Phoenix get the win. Channing Frye added 20 points for Phoenix. Robin Lopez had 18 points, and Steve Nash finished with 18 points and 12 assists.
Jazz 104, Mavericks 92: Deron Williams had 18 points and 15 assists, and host Utah increased its longest winning streak of the season to six. Paul Millsap had 25 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz, who outscored the Mavs 27-16 in the fourth quarter.
Nuggets 112, Kings 109: Arron Afflalo hit a 21-foot baseline jumper with 18.4 seconds left in overtime, and host Denver, down by 17 points in the third quarter, beat Sacramento. Kenyon Martin had 24 points and 12 rebounds, and Chauncey Billups had 23 points for the Nuggets.
Hornets: New Orleans All-Star point guard Chris Paul is out indefinitely with a left knee injury that will likely require surgery.
An MRI revealed more damage to the knee than the initial diagnosis of a bruise, Hornets coach Jeff Bower said yesterday. Bower refused, however, to confirm reports that Paul had a meniscus tear and would miss at least a month.
Paul, averaging a team-high 20.4 points and an NBA-best 11.2 assists, missed the Hornets' game at Memphis on Saturday.
Nuggets: Denver All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony missed his fifth consecutive game last night against Sacramento because of a sprained left ankle.
Anthony, who is leading the league in scoring with an average of 29.7 points, had hoped to be back in the lineup against the Kings. He hurt the ankle Jan. 23 against New Orleans.