Kobe Bryant turned back the clock with a 48-point effort to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 99-83 win over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.
Mixing an array of jump shots and athletic dunks, Bryant put together the highest scoring game in the NBA this season to give the Lakers their third consecutive win.
“I’m just in spots where I’m extremely comfortable and I’m knocking down my jump shot,” Bryant told reporters after recording his first 40-point game since March last year. “Not bad for an old fella.”
The 33-year-old knocked in 18 of his 31 shots from the field and scored nearly half of his team’s points.
He started quickly with 17 first-quarter points then brought the crowd to their feet with 16 in the final period, where he added a highlight reverse alley-oop dunk.
The win gave the Lakers (7-4) a one-game lead over the Los Angeles Clippers at the top of the Pacific Division.
WIZARDS 93, RAPTORS 78
In Washington, Rashard Lewis and Nick Young each had 15 points to lead the Wizards to their first win after eight straight losses.
Andray Blatche had nine points and eight rebounds, while John Wall tied his season high with nine assists, although he missed nine of 12 shots. In his past two games, Wall is six for 21 from the field.
Toronto, who were playing their second of three games in three nights, were led by Andrea Bargnani with 22 points.
WARRIORS 111, HEAT 106, OT
In Oakland, California, Dorell Wright scored 20 points and made a season-high six three-pointers as Golden State spoiled Dwyane Wade’s return to the Miami lineup with an overtime victory.
Wright hit the tying three-pointer late in regulation and converted the go-ahead three-pointer in the extra period to end Golden State’s five-game losing streak and give rookie coach Mark Jackson his most impressive victory.
Wade scored a season-high 34 points after missing the past three games with a bruised left foot, but he missed shots late in regulation and overtime. LeBron James added 26 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds.
BULLS 111, TIMBERWOLVES 100
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, Derrick Rose scored a season-high 31 points and had 11 assists to outlast Ricky Rubio in a thrilling duel as Chicago defeated Minnesota.
Luol Deng had 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Kyle Korver scored 13 points off the bench for the Bulls, who appeared to be on their way to a blowout early, before Rubio led the Wolves back.
The Spanish star had 13 points, 12 assists and four rebounds. Luke Ridnour added 22 points, while Kevin Love had with 20 points and 13 rebounds for Minnesota.
MAVERICKS 100, PISTONS 86
In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Dirk Nowitzki scored 18 points as Dallas routed Detroit to reach the .500 mark for the first time this season.
Defending champions the Mavericks (5-5) started their NBA title defense slowly, losing four of their first five games.
Shawn Marion scored 14 points, while Vince Carter added 11 for Dallas, who led by as many as 28 in the second half.
Will Bynum scored 20 points for Detroit, who have lost five straight.
76ERS 112, KINGS 85
In Philadelphia, Elton Brand had a season-high 21 points and 10 rebounds as the Sixers routed -Sacramento for their sixth straight victory.
The Sixers are 7-2 and lead the Atlantic Division — the team’s best start since Allen Iverson helped them open 10-0 on their way to the NBA Finals in 2000-2001.