Kobe-less Lakers topple Jazz, 96-81
SALT LAKE CITY — Rest up, Kobe. The Lakers are faring just fine without you.
Kobe Bryant sat out his third straight game and his teammates responded with their third consecutive win without their injured superstar, beating Utah, 96-81, last night and ending the Jazz's nine-game winning streak.
"This is a good team no matter who's in or who's out of the lineup," said Lamar Odom, who had 25 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles. "We've got a lot of guys that can play."
Pau Gasol had 22 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks and Jordan Farmar added 18 points for Los Angeles, which enters the All-Star break with the best record in the Western Conference at 41-13.
And the last three wins have come with Bryant resting his sore left ankle, which he aggravated last week. His status for the All-Star game Sunday remains uncertain.
Los Angeles was also without center Andrew Bynum, who was out with a bruised right hip.
"We've been playing good basketball recently. It was unfortunate that Kobe had to go out and Andrew as well," Farmar said. "Everybody took it upon themselves to really play better basketball and play together."
HEAT 94, HAWKS 76
Jermaine O'Neal scored 19 points, Dwyane Wade had 18 and visiting Miami pulled away with a 10-0 run in the final period to beat Atlanta for its second straight victory.
RAPTORS 104, 76ERS 93
Chris Bosh had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Jose Calderon converted a go-ahead four-point play as Toronto extended its home winning streak to eight games.
BUCKS 97, NETS 77
Andrew Bogut scored 22 points and Ersan Ilyasova added 18 as visiting Milwaukee sent New Jersey into the All-Star break with loss No. 48 in front of a crowd of 1,016.
KINGS 103, PISTONS 97
Kevin Martin scored 26 points and Tyreke Evans made back-to-back layups to give visiting Sacramento a 91-85 lead with 4:30 left to beat Detroit, which got no closer than three.
BOBCATS 93, TIMBERWOLVES 92
Nazr Mohammed had 21 points and 20 rebounds, including a dunk after recovering a loose ball with 5.3 seconds left, to lift visiting Charlotte.
MAGIC 107, BULLS 87
Dwight Howard had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and visiting Orlando opened a 41-17 first-quarter lead in routing Chicago, which lost All-Star Derrick Rose with a bruised right hip.
HORNETS 93, CELTICS 85
Darren Collison scored 13 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, helping host New Orleans rally from a 12-point deficit to hand Boston its second straight loss.
TRAIL BLAZERS 108, SUNS 101
Steve Blake had 20 points and 12 assists, and visiting Portland saw its 22-point lead dwindle to five before ending Phoenix's five-game winning streak.
WARRIORS 132, CLIPPERS 102
Stephen Curry recorded his first triple-double with a career-high 36 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds, helping host Golden State beat Los Angeles and snap a season-high nine-game losing streak.