Kobe Bryant moved past Shaquille O’Neal to become the NBA’s fifth-highest scorer on Monday, but it was a bitter-sweet moment for the Los Angeles guard as the Lakers lost 95-90 to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Bryant finished with 28 points to reach a career total of 28,601, moving past O’Neal’s 28,596. The all-time leader in points scored is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, with 38,387.
Philadelphia trailed 86-79 with four-and-a-half minutes to go when Lou Williams sparked a 14-2 run to send the Wells Fargo Center crowd into a frenzy.
“He’s our closer,” teammate Spencer Hawes told reporters. “When he comes in at the end, he has the ability to make plays.”
Williams scored 10 of his team-high 24 points during the spurt, including seven straight, to give the Atlantic Division-leading 76ers (18-7) their sixth win in seven games.
Los Angeles (14-11) lost their second in a row as they reached the halfway point of a six-game road trip. The Lakers are just 3-9 away from home this season.
The Lakers’ Andrew Bynum had 20 points and 20 rebounds.
Bryant roared out to a fast start by netting 24 first-half points, but Philadelphia quickly began double-teaming the All-Star to derail his night. Bryant would make just two of his final 14 shots and was unable to stop Los Angeles from sliding in the fourth.
“They came after him. To Kobe’s credit, what he tried to do was get everybody involved,” said Lakers assistant coach John Kuester, who filled in as head coach in the absence of the suspended Mike Brown.
Brown was serving a one-game ban for making contact with an official while arguing a call in the Lakers’ loss to Utah on Saturday.
Philadelphia were without forward Elton Brand, who missed a second straight game with a sprained thumb, but they managed to stay close to Los Angeles.
The 76ers trailed by four at halftime before pulling ahead 70-69 after three quarters.
Jrue Holiday added 13 points and Andre Iguodala had 12 for the home team.
CLIPPERS 107, MAGIC 102, OT
In Orlando, Florida, Chris Paul scored 29 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter and overtime, as the Los Angeles Clippers overcame a 15-point first-half deficit and slipped by Orlando.
Blake Griffin and Chauncey Billups each added 18 points for the Clippers.
The Clippers have won six of the last seven games and snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Magic. However, they may have lost Billups for an extended period after he slipped and left in the fourth quarter with a left Achilles injury.
Dwight Howard had 33 points and 14 rebounds, while Jason Richardson had 20 points for the Magic.
WIZARDS 111, RAPTORS 108, OT
In Washington, John Wall scored 31 points, Nick Young had a season-high 29 and Trevor Booker added a season-high 19 as Washington hung on to beat Toronto.
Young’s two free throws with 1 minute, 6 seconds to play gave Washington a 109-106 lead. The Raptors’ Amir Johnson hit two free throws with 27.2 seconds left to make it 109-108.
Booker hit the first of two free throws with 6.7 seconds left. Young rebounded Booker’s miss, was fouled and hit the second of two free throws with 1.5 seconds left to make it 111-108.
Linas Kleiza’s three-point attempt at the buzzer fell short.
Jerryd Bayless and Kleiza both had a season-high 30 points for Toronto.
SUNS 99, HAWKS 90
In Atlanta, Georgia, Steve Nash scored 24 points as Phoenix broke open a close game with a 24-6 run to close the third quarter and beat Atlanta.