Kobe Bryant scored 13 of his 42 points during a 20-0 run in the last 6:22 of the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Lakers overcame a 25-point deficit to fend off the host New Orleans Hornets 108-102 on Wednesday.
The Hornets were still ahead by 21 in the final minute of the third quarter when Greivis Vasquez's 3-pointer made it 93-72, and even after the Lakers had whittled their deficit to 12, the Hornets were up 102-88 after Robin Lopez's dunk with 6:47 to go. But the Hornets wouldn't score again, and Bryant, who also had 12 assists, began to take over.
Bryant, who injured his right elbow in a loss at Oklahoma City on Tuesday but played through it to score 30 against the Thunder, had 25 points in the second half, 18 in the final quarter as the Lakers (31-31) pulled back to .500 and remained within three games of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Heat 97, Magic 96: LeBron James had 26 points, including a go-ahead layup with 3.2 seconds left, and host Miami scrambled late to beat Orlando and extend its win streak to 16 games. James drove diagonally through the lane for the go-ahead shot, getting to the left side of the glass for the layup. "I had no intention of shooting another jumper," he said. The Heat blew a 20-point, second-half lead and then rallied from a five-point deficit in the final minutes.
Mavericks 112, Rockets 108: Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points, and host Dallas bounced back from a blowout loss in Houston with a win over the Rockets. O.J. Mayo scored five straight points to put Dallas ahead 107-104, and the Mavericks won despite 28 points from James Harden. But Harden missed a 3-pointer and a layup in the final seconds, three days after the Rockets' 33-point win in Houston. Jeremy Lin had 12 points but sat the fourth quarter in favor of Houston backup Patrick Beverley.
Cavaliers 104, Jazz 101: Kyrie Irving had 20 points, helping Cleveland beat Utah. The Cavaliers trailed 100-92 with less than three minutes left before Irving took over. He scored eight points, made a steal and assisted on Wayne Ellington's dunk as Cleveland stormed back. Irving added 10 assists.
Spurs 101, Bulls 83: Tim Duncan had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and host San Antonio beat Chicago. Patty Mills provided a needed punch off the Spurs' bench, scoring 10 of his 13 points in the second half.
Celtics 83, Pacers 81: Kevin Garnett found Jeff Green all alone under the basket for a layup with 0.5 seconds left to finish off a fourth-quarter comeback from 14 points down, and Boston beat host Indiana. Garnett had 18 points and 10 rebounds and dragged Boston back after it trailed most of the final three quarters. Green had 11 points off the bench. Paul George scored 16 points for the Pacers, who had all five starters in double figures.
Knicks 87, Pistons 77: Raymond Felton scored 26 points, and visiting New York defeated Detroit. The Knicks' Carmelo Anthony sat out after injuring his knee Monday, but New York went on a 16-0 run in the fourth quarter to put away the game. Pistons coach Lawrence Frank missed the game because of a personal matter.
Grizzlies 91, Trail Blazers 85: Marc Gasol had 23 points and 12 rebounds, and Memphis beat visiting Portland. Rookie Damian Lillard had 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting for the Blazers.