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Kobe erupts for 55 in win over Wizards

LOS ANGELES — A fan waved a sign that read, "Goodbye Michael, Hello Kobe," and that set the tone for Kobe Bryant's sensational performance Friday night.

Bryant scored 55 points, the most in the NBA this season, as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated Michael Jordan and the Washington Wizards 108-94.

Bryant's scoring display, which included a team-record 42 points in the first half, came in what probably was his and the Lakers' final game against the 40-year-old Jordan, who plans to retire after this season.

Often hailed as the "next Michael Jordan," a comparison he dislikes, the 24-year-old Bryant made nine shots in a row during a stretch that began late in the second quarter. His 42 first-half points broke a team record that had stood for 43 years.

Jordan finished with 23 points, 17 in the first half. Jerry Stackhouse added 22 points for Washington.

PACERS 140, BULLS 89: In Indianapolis, Brad Miller had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Indiana shot 62 percent to rout the Bulls. Al Harrington added 19 points for Indiana. Tim Hardaway, signed Thursday as a free agent, scored 14 points in his first NBA game in more than a year. Eddy Curry scored 18 points for Chicago, which lost its eighth straight road game.

TRAIL BLAZERS 112, MAVERICKS 95: In Portland, Dale Davis scored all 16 of his points in a dominant third quarter for the Portland Trail Blazers, who snapped a three-game losing streak with a 112-95 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night. Portland scored 44 points in the third, tying the Blazers' season high for points in a quarter. Rasheed Wallace led the Blazers with 20 points and nine rebounds. Dirk Nowitzki had 20 points to lead Dallas, but he shot just 6-for-16 from the floor.

HORNETS 101, RAPTORS 92: In Toronto, Jamal Mashburn scored 27 points and Baron Davis had 22 points and 11 assists as the Hornets swept the season series against Toronto 4-0.

P.J. Brown added 11 rebounds for the Hornets. Vince Carter had 21 for the Raptors, who have lost 10 of their last 12. Carter was kept on the bench by coach Lenny Wilkens for the first five minutes of the fourth quarter as the Hornets started pulling away.

Wilkens is one loss away from tying Bill Fitch for the most by an NBA coach (1,106).

WARRIORS 102, 76ERS 98: In Philadelphia, Earl Boykins scored 10 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and grabbed an important offensive rebound in the final minute to help Golden State withstand the 76ers' comeback. Antawn Jamison had 26 of his 30 points in the first half as Golden State ran out to a 23-point halftime lead, and Gilbert Arenas helped the Warriors close the deal with five points over the final 1:26. Allen Iverson had 28 points and 10 assists to lead the 76ers, who have lost two in a row at home.

NETS 122, KNICKS 101:Richard Jefferson put on a dunking exhibition, throwing down all manner of stuff shots while scoring a career-high 39 points to lead the New Jersey Nets past the New York Knicks 122-101 Friday night. Jefferson had a half-dozen dunks, the last of which brought teammate Kenyon Martin jumping out of his seat and whooping uncontrollably early in the fourth quarter as the Nets took a 101-82 lead.

SUNS 94, PISTONS 91: Stephon Marbury scored 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to help the Suns win for the fourth straight time at the Palace. Shawn Marion added 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Bo Outlaw had a season-high 17 off the bench for Phoenix, which moved one game ahead of idle Houston for the final Western Conference playoff spot.

Chauncey Billups scored 23 points, Richard Hamilton had 20 and Ben Wallace had 16 rebounds for the Pistons.

HEAT 111, TIMBERWOLVES 84: In Miami, rookie Caron Butler scored a season-high 35 points as Miami shot a season-high 62 percent and overcame an early 18-point deficit. Butler led seven Heat players in double figures. Eddie House finished with 18 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter. Kevin Garnett led the Timberwolves with 17 points and nine rebounds.

CELTICS 104, CAVALIERS 95: In Boston, Paul Pierce had 27 points and nine rebounds, and Eric Williams scored 17 points as the Celtics snapped a six-game losing streak. Boston moved into a tie with Orlando for sixth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Ricky Davis had 31 points and 10 assists, and Carlos Boozer had 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers (14-58), who need two more victories to avoid posting the worst record in franchise history.

SUPERSONICS 95, GRIZZLIES 71: In Seattle, Ray Allen scored 10 of his 25 points in the third quarter to help the SuperSonics improve to 15-0 at home against the Grizzlies. The Sonics' Rashard Lewis sat on the bench in street clothes, saving himself for Sunday, when the Los Angeles Lakers visit. He hurt his right knee, right elbow and right wrist in Wednesday's loss to Washington, but the Sonics didn't need him.

Allen shot 11-of-18 and Brent Barry had 14 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. Vladimir Radmanovic, starting in place of Lewis, had 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Pau Gasol led Memphis with 13 points and Lorenzen Wright had 15 rebounds for the Grizzlies, the only team that hasn't won in Seattle.