The Los Angeles Lakers overturned a 14-point halftime deficit on Saturday to beat the Chicago Bulls 117-109, spurred by Kobe Bryant’s 28 points.
Spaniard Pau Gasol added 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Western Conference-leading Lakers (55-14), who have the league’s second best record behind Eastern leader Cleveland (56-13).
Three other Lakers finished in double figures. Trevor Ariza had 18 as a starter, Lamar Odom added 16 and Jordan Farmar had 13 in the first of seven consecutive road games for Los Angeles.
“They kind of overwhelmed us with their energy in the first half,” Bryant told reporters.” We wanted to come out [after halftime] and do the same.”
The Lakers reserves provided that spark to beat the Bulls.
“So many things went against us tonight — we could have easily just went, ‘Ah well, we’ll get the next one,’” Lakers guard Derek Fisher said. “But guys off the bench were contributing.”
John Salmons had 30 points and Derrick Rose scored 25 for the Bulls (32-38), who are trying to hold on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Despite the loss, Chicago is a game ahead of Charlotte and one-and-a-half games in front of Milwaukee and New Jersey for the eighth spot.
The Lakers trailed 62-48 at the half but produced a 33-point third quarter to cut the deficit to six with one period left in the ballgame.
A 14-0 run in the fourth turned the tide, pushing the visitors to a 106-93 lead with 4:22 to play.
“We had a good opportunity and let it slip away,” Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said. “Our turnovers in the second half were the difference.”
The Bulls turned the ball over 23 times in the game.
CELTICS 105, GRIZZLIES 87
At Memphis, Tennessee, Glen Davis scored a career-high 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting as Boston pulled away in the second half to beat Memphis.
Ray Allen added 20 points and six assists while Eddie House contributed 15 points as the Celtics won their third straight overall and fifth in a row over the Grizzlies.
Kevin Garnett, still playing limited minutes in only his second game back from a right knee injury, scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds in 17 minutes.
In other games it was:
• Cavaliers 102, Hawks 96
• Suns 128, Wizards 96
• Pacers 108, Bobcats 83
• Magic 110, Knicks 103
• Trail Blazers 96, Bucks 84