Fri, Feb 02, 2007 - Page 23 News List

Bryant scores 43 as Lakers beat Boston

BACK WITH A BANGKobe Bryant mesmerized the crowd as he delivered an electrifying performance in Boston on Wednesday, and even had the Celtics fans chanting his name


The Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, center, shoots as the Boston Celtics' Al Jefferson, left, and Delonte West defend during the third quarter of their NBA game in Boston on Wednesday.


Kobe Bryant returned from his one-game suspension and had 43 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to help the Los Angeles Lakers beat Boston 111-98 on Wednesday and send the Celtics to a franchise-record 13th consecutive loss.

Bryant hit a pair of three-pointers after the Celtics cut the deficit to 63-62 with 8:31 left in the third quarter. He also made a 30-footer at the end of the quarter to give the Lakers a 10-point lead and threw down a reverse dunk in the final two minutes to electrify the fans who weren't already heading for the exits.

He made a three-pointer on the Lakers' next possession, and when Los Angeles got the ball back the Boston fans, who had once considered the Lakers their biggest rival, were chanting, "Kobe!"

Ryan Gomes scored 23 points, Gerald Green had 22 and Al Jefferson had 10 with 14 rebounds for Boston, which last lost 13 straight in 1996-1997.

Magic 98, Bucks 73

At Orlando, Florida, Hedo Turkoglu scored 17 points and Tony Battie added a season-high 15 as Orlando beat Milwaukee to snap a three-game losing streak.

Keith Bogans had 14 points and tied a career high with seven assists for Orlando, which had lost eight of nine. Darko Milicic also had 14 points and tied his career high with 10 rebounds.

Mo Williams scored 23 points for Milwaukee, which dug itself a 29-point hole early in the game and never could climb out of it. The Bucks, who have lost 13 of their last 15 games, got 12 points from Andrew Bogut and 11 from Charlie Bell.

Pistons 113, Nets 89

At East Rutherford, New Jersey, Richard Hamilton scored 24 points and Detroit set a team record by making 27 consecutive free throws in a win over New Jersey.

Chauncey Billups added 18 points, including 12 on perfect shooting from the free throw line, and Chris Webber had 17 as the Pistons won for the fifth time in seven games and snapped the Nets' two-game winning streak. Jason Maxiell had 16 and Antonio McDyess had eight points and 12 rebounds.

Detroit, which shot 54 percent from the field, finished 33-of-38 from the free throw line.

Raptors 119, Wizards 109

At Toronto, Chris Bosh scored 34 points and Jose Calderon had a career-high 24 points and 11 assists to lead Toronto past Washington.

The Raptors shot a season-high 59 percent and scored a franchise-record 43 points in the third quarter.

Bosh even made a buzzer-beating 56-foot jumper after stealing an inbounds pass, giving Toronto a 17-point lead after three quarters.

Bosh made 15 straight field goals after missing his first four shots of the game. He finished 15-for-19 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds. Calderon's previous career high was 20 points on Nov. 2, 2005 against New Jersey.

Toronto's backup point guard finished 10-for-13 from the field.

Bobcats 104, Knicks 87

At Charlotte, North Carolina, Gerald Wallace scored 17 of his career-high 42 points in the fourth quarter and Charlotte pulled away from cold-shooting New York.

Wallace hit a three-pointer, a free throw and had a thunderous dunk in an 8-0 run that put Charlotte ahead 97-82 with 2:44 left. He made 14 of 22 shots and 11 of 17 free throws.

In other games it was:

* Hawks 115, Warriors 94

* 76ers 89, Hornets 78

* Kings 100, Timberwolves 98

* Mavericks 95, Grizzlies 94

* Rockets 112, Sonics 102

* Jazz 97, Spurs 93

* Trail Blazers 100, Nuggets 91

* Clippers 110, Bulls 98

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