Lakers 88, Bobcats 85
Kobe Bryant scored a season-high 21 points and the visiting Los Angeles Lakers recorded their first win since Bryant returned from a torn Achilles tendon four games ago.
Bryant was 8-of-15 from the field and hit two free throws with 37 seconds left in the game to put the Lakers ahead for good.
Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill had 15 points apiece for the Lakers and Nick Young had 13 points off the bench.
Kemba Walker had 24 points and eight assists for the slumping Bobcats, who have lost three in a row and five of their last seven.
The Lakers trailed most of the game, but cut the lead to 85-84 after Bryant drove the lane and scored a left-handed layup with 1:22 remaining.
Al Jefferson and Walker would both miss on the other end and Bryant went to work looking to take the lead. He drew a foul on a jump shot with 37 seconds left and hit both free throws with some of the crowd chanting “M-V-P” while others booed.
Gerald Henderson missed a jumper for Charlotte, but Jefferson corralled the rebound and the Bobcats took a timeout to set up the last shot.
Jefferson backed down Pau Gasol but couldn’t convert a baby hook and the Gasol grabbed the rebound and was fouled. Gasol hit both free throws to push the lead to three with 6.2 seconds left.
Ben Gordon’s 3-pointer fell short as time expired.
Bryant came in averaging 11 points in his first three games.
He eclipsed that by halftime.
Bryant had 13 points, four assists and three rebounds in the first half as the Lakers took a 44-43 lead despite being outscored 28-12 in the paint. Bryant looked good from the start, scoring eight points in the first nine minutes.
Bryant showed his touch when he banked in a 15-footer over Gerald Henderson and his range when he stepped out to knock down a 3-pointer from 26 feet.
Clippers 113, Wizards 97
Chris Paul had 38 points and 12 assists, and the Los Angeles Clippers shared the ball impeccably as they wrapped up a tougher-than-it-should’ve-been East Coast road trip.
The Clippers never trailed and had assists on 27 of their 39 field goals, including 16-of-21 in the first half. They shot 56 percent to finish 4-3 on a trip.
Paul went 11-for-14 from the field, including 5-for-7 from 3-point range, and made all 11 of his free throws.
Knicks 111, Hawks 106
Carmelo Anthony scored 35 points, Andrea Bargnani added 23 and the host New York Knicks pulled away in the fourth quarter. Pablo Prigioni had a season-high 11 points and was a spark in the decisive 11-0 run midway through the final period.
Lou Williams scored a season-high 27 points.
Raptors 99, Bulls 77
The visiting Toronto Raptors finished off the Chicago Bulls with a 26-11 pasting in the fourth quarter.
Kyle Lowry paced the balanced Raptors with 16 points. Luol Deng led the Bulls with 17 points.
Trail Blazers 139, 76ers 105
LaMarcus Aldridge led the visiting Portland Trail Blazers’ balanced scoring attack with 20 points. The Trail Blazers had eight players reach double figures in points in routing the Sixers.
Spurs 100, Jazz 84
Tim Duncan scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds while Tony Parker added 15 points and seven assists to lift the host San Antonio Spurs.
Mavericks 106, Bucks 93
Brandan Wright led Dallas with 19 points in his season debut, Jose Calderon scored 18 and the Mavericks shrugged off the absence of Dirk Nowitzki and coach Rick Carlisle to beat the visiting Milwaukee Bucks.