Bryant pours in 26 points as LA Lakers beat Celtics
LOS ANGELES / TORONTO
The Lakers beat the Celtics thanks to 26 points including a go-ahead basket by star guard Kobe Bryant.Kobe Bryant’s 26 points included a go-ahead basket with 41.7 seconds to play on March 11 as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics 97-94 in an NBA contest.
Lakers superstar Bryant scored 10 points in the final quarter, but it was Andrew Bynum who capped the 8-0 scoring run Los Angeles used to close out the game.
The Lakers had fallen behind by five points with less than three minutes remaining. But they held the Celtics scoreless the rest of the way and Bryant and Bynum scored four points apiece as Los Angeles won for the 18th time in 20 home games this season. “They made the shots down the stretch and we didn’t,” said Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, who had 24 points and 10 assists. “We had some good looks at the rim, but shots didn’t fall and we couldn’t get a stop.”
Bynum finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Spain’s Pau Gasol added 13 points with 13 rebounds and five assists for the Lakers.
After Bryant’s last basket gave the Lakers a 95-94 lead, Brandon Bass mis-fired for Boston.
The Lakers called a timeout, and when they returned it was Bynum who got th eball for a hook shot that secured the winning margin.
“Kobe came up with that play,” Bynum said. “He said they’re not going to know what to do and, sure enough, the way they designed it, Kevin Garnett started guarding me on the top side by the 3-point line, so it definitely worked.”
Meanwhile, Turkish forward Ersan İlyasova had 31 points and 12 rebounds, and Drew Gooden added 21 points as the short-handed Milwaukee Bucks won their sixth straight over the Toronto Raptors with a final score of 105-99.
Mike Dunleavy scored 19 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer in the fourth quarter, as the Bucks pulled within one game of the New York Knicks for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Bucks had just 10 active players, having lost Shaun Livingston (sprained left ankle) and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (right knee) in Friday’s win over New York.
Milwaukee swingman Stephen Jackson has sidelined by a sore right hamstring since Feb. 19. DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points and Jerryd Bayless had 16 for the Raptors.
Compiled from the AFP and AP reports by the Daily News staff