Facebook Twitter

NBA roundup: Magic overcome Kobe, Lakers

SHARE NBA roundup: Magic overcome Kobe, Lakers
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, makes the first basket of the game against Magic guard Keith Bogans in the first half Saturday.

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, makes the first basket of the game against Magic guard Keith Bogans in the first half Saturday.

Reinhold Matay, Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Kobe Bryant did his job. The Orlando Magic did, too.

The Los Angeles star scored a season-high 41 points, but Magic center Dwight Howard made eight of 11 free throws in the fourth quarter, and Jameer Nelson had 27 points to lead Orlando to a 106-103 victory over the Lakers on Saturday night.

"ESPN magazine did a story about how to defend LeBron James," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy joked. "I don't think anybody is coming to me for that gig about defending Kobe. We better keep winning games, so I can stay employed."

Bryant missed a three at the buzzer that would have sent the game to overtime. He made 14 of 31 shots, and all 11 of his free throws.

"They had three guys over at me every time (in the second half)," Bryant said. "When I get going, they send everybody.

Orlando survived despite early foul trouble for Howard. Nelson had 15 points in the third quarter to lead the Magic back from a nine-point halftime deficit.

"I think it was really a good thing that I missed those two games," Howard said. "One, for me, giving rest for my body. And two, for my teammates that they can win without me, and do a lot of great things and trust each other."

Rashard Lewis added 22 points for Orlando, which has won six straight home games. Derek Fisher had 27 in support of Bryant.

SUNS 108, NUGGETS 101: At Phoenix, Steve Nash scored eight straight points in the final three minutes and the Phoenix Suns beat the Denver Nuggets for the eighth straight time at home.

Nash's first big basket gave the Suns a 101-98 lead. After Chauncey Billups tied it with a 3-pointer, Nash connected on two 3-pointers, giving Phoenix a 107-101 lead. A free throw by Shaquille O'Neal completed the scoring.

Nash finished with 16 points and 11 assists. Amare Stoudemire led the Suns with 27 points and 10 rebounds — his 10th game in a row with at least 20 points. O'Neal had 19 points and nine rebounds, and Jason Richardson also scored 19, and Grant Hill had 11.

Hill also did a strong job on Carmelo Anthony, holding the Nuggets' leading scorer to 10 points — 11 below his average.

Reserve JR Smith topped the Nuggets with 23 points.

WARRIORS 110, BOBCATS 103: At Charlotte, N.C., Jamal Crawford scored 50 points to help the undermanned Golden State beat the Charlotte Bobcats, giving Warriors coach Don Nelson a win in his first game with a new coaching structure.

A night after Nelson announced he would no longer have anything to do with the Warriors' NBA-worst defense, assistant Keith Smart handled that part of the game, while Crawford handled the offense — and then some.

Acquired from New York last month, Crawford was 14-of-26 from the field, 5-of-8 on 3-pointers and made 17 of 18 free throws. He was two points shy of his career high.

Kelenna Azubuike added 21 points and the Warriors snapped a five-game losing streak with Nelson and Smart co-coaching the team. Golden State played again without top scorers Corey Maggette (hamstring) and Stephen Jackson (hand).

Gerald Wallace had 26 points for Charlotte.

ROCKETS 109, TIMBERWOLVES 102: At Minneapolis, Tracy McGrady scored 23 points and Houston made 12 3-pointers to hand Minnesota its 12th straight loss.

Aaron Brooks had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who have won three in a row and seven of their last nine.

Al Jefferson had 34 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks for Minnesota (4-22). But it wasn't enough to stop a losing streak that matched the franchise's longest skid since a 12-gamer at the end of the 1993-94 season.

PACERS 95, 76ERS 94: At Philadelphia, T.J. Ford hit a 15-foot jumper with 3.9 seconds left and finished with 25 points for short-handed Indiana.

The Pacers dressed just nine players. For the second straight game, Indiana was without starters Troy Murphy, Marquis Daniels and Danny Granger, out with viral infections. The Pacers also were missing Maceo Baston (lower-back strain).

Andre Iguodala had 26 points for Philadelphia in its first loss in four games under new coach Tony DiLeo. Andre Miller had 14 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

HORNETS 99, KINGS 90: At New Orleans, Chris Paul had 34 points, nine assists and a season-high eight steals, and New Orleans won for the 11th time in 13 games.

Reserve James Posey added 19 points, and David West had 12. John Salmons scored 26 points, and Francisco Garcia added 16 for Sacramento.

HEAT 106, NETS 103: At East Rutherford, N.J., Dwyane Wade matched his season high with 43 points, scoring 12 of Miami's final 14 points.

Wade put Miami ahead to stay with a reverse layup with 1:58 remaining for a 98-97 lead. Udonis Haslem sealed the win with a jumper from the corner with 14.7 seconds left that put the Heat up by 5.

Brook Lopez led the Nets with 22 points and 13 rebounds.

SPURS 107, RAPTORS 97: At San Antonio, Tony Parker had 24 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, and San Antonio matched a franchise record with 16 3-pointers.

Tim Duncan scored 19 points, and Roger Mason had 16.

Jermaine O'Neal led Toronto with 24 points. The Raptors have lost five straight for the second time this season to drop to 10-14.

BUCKS 119, CLIPPERS 85: At Milwaukee, Richard Jefferson scored 22 points, and Luke Ridnour added 18 for Milwaukee in its fourth victory in five games.<

Al Thornton scored 20 points for Los Angeles in its worst loss of the season. The Clippers were playing their fourth road game in five nights.