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Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010

Lakers visit Obama, take care of Wizards

WASHINGTON (AP) There's nothing like a trip to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to lift the spirits during the dog days of an NBA season.

That's a privilege given only to the reigning champions, and the Los Angeles Lakers had their moment with President Barack Obama on Monday. It was a good substitute for a ho-hum January practice, and they promptly lifted their road doldrums Tuesday night with a 115-103 win over the Washington Wizards.

"Our overall energy was a lot better," said Lamar Odom, who scored 15 points on 7-for-10 shooting. "The trip to the White House gave us a little energy. We want to go back."

Odom said before the game that the champs had become "a little too overconfident," but it didn't show as he and teammates chased down loose balls and kept their hands all over the passing lanes. The Lakers showed the troubled Wizards what hustling, focused, never-let-up basketball is all about, shooting 59 percent and forcing six turnovers during a crucial second-quarter run.

"Offensive rebounds, getting loose balls, turning teams over," Kobe Bryant said. "Especially when you play on the road, that's some of things you need to have happen."

Bryant and Pau Gasol scored 26 points apiece for the Lakers, who had lost six of their previous eight road games and pulled to a 2-2 record midway through their current eight-game swing.

Antawn Jamison, playing on a sprained right foot, scored 27 points to lead the Wizards, who lost the last four games of a six-game homestand. The game came one day after guard Javaris Crittenton received probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge, the latest fallout from last month's locker room confrontation between Crittenton and Gilbert Arenas.

"I think we're all pretty much numb to the whole thing right now," coach Flip Saunders said.

Knicks 132, Timberwolves 105

In New York, David Lee had 28 points and 10 rebounds as the Knicks rebounded from a lopsided beating by administering one against Minnesota.

Al Harrington scored 26 and Wilson Chandler had 20 despite a strained left groin for New York, which was dealt the worst home loss in franchise history when Dallas routed the Knicks 128-78 on Sunday. New York was on the other end this time, scoring the first 15 points and leading by as many as 36.

Mavericks 108, Bucks 107

In Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points and Jason Terry added 21 as the Mavericks held on late.

Carlos Delfino missed a running jumper in the lane before the buzzer.

Andrew Bogut hit his first nine shots from the floor and scored a career-high 32 points on 13-of-14 shooting. Delfino chipped in with 22 points for the Bucks, who dropped to 5-18 on the road.

Bobcats 114, Suns 109

In Phoenix, Stephen Jackson scored 30 points as Charlotte scored nine of the first 11 points in overtime to beat the Suns.

Jackson, who leveled the game at 98-98 on a 3-pointer with 19.9 seconds remaining, hit a 20-foot jump shot on the Bobcats' first possession of overtime to give the Bobcats only their second lead of the game.

Kings 99, Warriors 96

In Sacramento, Beno Udrih scored 24 points and Tyreke Evans had 23 to help the Kings snap a seven-game losing streak.

It was a rare win for Sacramento, which hovered near the .500 mark through the season's first 30 games, but had dropped 12 of 13 since defeating Denver on Dec. 28. The Kings held a 21-point lead in the second quarter but the lead dwindled to two points in the closing minutes.

Spencer Hawes had 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Kings.



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