Kobe Bryant scored 29 points and Pau Gasol added 26 to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to their ninth straight victory over the Golden State Warriors, 124-121 on Monday night.
Andrew Bynum added 19 points and 14 rebounds, and Lamar Odom had 17 points and 12 boards for the Lakers, who have won three straight following their first three-game losing streak in more than two years.
The Lakers led by 11 late in the fourth quarter but barely held on for the victory. It wasn't sealed until Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis missed 3-pointers in the final seconds. Ellis' last-ditch attempt bounced on the rim three times before falling aside at the buzzer.
Curry scored 29 points for the Warriors, who have lost seven of eight. Coach Don Nelson remained six wins shy of breaking Lenny Wilkens' record mark of 1,337. The Warriors have only 16 games remaining this season, meaning Nelson's quest for the record might be pushed into next season if he is brought back as coach.
The Lakers took advantage of their decided height advantage with two 7-footers in the starting lineup against a Warriors team whose only true post player is former NBA Development League player Chris Hunter. Los Angeles outrebounded Golden State 56-25 but struggled to put the quicker Warriors away because of sloppy play with the ball.
The Lakers committed 24 turnovers, including a season-high nine by Bryant, while Golden State only turned the ball over five times.
But with the Lakers dominating the glass and Ellis missing 18 of 23 shots, the Lakers were able to extend their winning streak against their in-state rivals.
It was the fourth sellout of the season for the Warriors, but many of the season-high 20,038 fans were there to cheer on the Lakers instead of the home team. Positive plays by Los Angeles were often greeted with louder applause than those by the Warriors and some fans started an "M-V-P!" chant for Bryant.
The Lakers fell behind 72-63 early in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Curry. But they answered with a 16-2 run that gave them a 79-74 lead and they never gave it up the rest of the way.
Curry's 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter got the deficit back down to one, but Bynum responded with a three-point play following an offensive rebound. Bryant's three-point play extended the lead to 111-103 with just under 5 minutes left.
The Warriors got the lead back down to two on a jumper by Ellis with about 20 seconds left, but Shannon Brown hit two free throws with 13 seconds to go to build the lead back to 123-119. After another basket by Ellis, Bryant made one of two free throws with 8.6 seconds left for the final margin.
Hunter scored a career-high 22 points and Corey Maggette added 18. Ellis was held to 13 in one of the worst shooting games of his career.
Los Angeles led 39-32 after a first quarter that was filled with statistical oddities. The Lakers made six straight shots to open the game, then missed six in a row before making eight in row. The Warriors, meanwhile, got little production from their high-scoring backcourt of Curry and Ellis, who shot just 1 for 10 in the period. But the frontcourt players made all 11 shots they took, including three 3-pointers from Anthony Tolliver.
C.J. Watson and Hunter then combined for all the points in an 11-2 run to end the half for Golden State and give the Warriors a 65-59 lead at the break.
NOTES: Bryant had his most turnovers since a career-high 11 at Detroit on Jan. 31, 2008. ... Among those in attendance were NFL greats Ronnie Lott and Jim Plunkett, and Oakland Raiders players Nnamdi Asomugha, Thomas Howard and Mario Henderson.
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