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Monday, April 2, 2012

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All tangled up: Lakers forward Pau Gasol and Hornets guard Xavier Henry vie for the ball on Saturday in Los Angeles. AP

Kobe stings Hornets late in fourth quarter


LOS ANGELES — As long as there's time left on the clock, Kobe Bryant can still work wonders even when he's having a horrible game.

Bryant burnished his reputation as one of the NBA's greatest closers, hitting a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left after missing his first 15 shots, to help the Los Angeles Lakers hold off the last-place New Orleans Hornets 88-85 on Saturday.

"There's always time to redeem himself," Jarrett Jack of the Hornets said. "Nobody's even going to talk about those first three quarters. They're going to talk about that last shot he made to put his team over the top."

It was just the third field goal of the game for Bryant, who finished with 11 points on 3 of 21 shooting as the Lakers ended a two-game skid at home.

"Kobe never gets down on himself," Andrew Bynum said.

Pau Gasol had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Bynum added 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Ramon Sessions had 10 points and 10 assists for the Lakers.

Bryant was 0-for-7 on 3-pointers before making his only one. He had five assists, three rebounds and four fouls in 39 minutes. He endured the worst start to a game in his career, having previously missed his first 13 shots against San Antonio on Dec. 28, 2010.

"I'm stubborn. You have to have that kind of attitude, that kind of determination or stubbornness," Bryant said. "That's what gets teams over the hump to win multiple championships.

"If I were to miss that shot, everybody would have killed me."

76ers 95, Hawks 90

In Philadelphia, Elton Brand scored 13 of his season-high 25 points in the fourth quarter to rally the Sixers.

Andre Iguodala scored 18, and Brand had 10 rebounds to go with his 10-for-12 shooting.

Knicks 91, Cavaliers 75

In New York, JR Smith scored 20 points, Carmelo Anthony had 19, and the Knicks beat Cleveland.

Antawn Jamison scored 13 for the Cavaliers, who played without injured rookie Kyrie Irving.

Pistons 110, Bobcats 107 (OT)

In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Will Bynum's 3-pointer with 15.7 seconds left in regulation sent the game into overtime, and Detroit went on to edge Charlotte.

The Bobcats led 93-85 with under 2:00 remaining before Detroit's Brandon Knight made a pair of 3-pointers and Bynum sank his tying shot from the left wing. Gerald Henderson had a great chance to win it for Charlotte, but his driving bank shot missed in the final seconds.

Spurs 112, Pacers 103

In San Antonio, Tim Duncan had 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Spurs to their seventh consecutive win.

Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili added 18 points apiece for the Spurs, who are 8-1 since making a rare plunge into midseason moves by adding forwards Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw.

Grizzlies 99, Bucks 95

In Milwaukee, O.J. Mayo scored a season-high 24 points, and Rudy Gay had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead Memphis.

Marc Gasol added 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who are in the midst of playing seven games in nine days. They opened the stretch with a 98-89 loss at Houston on Friday.

Nets 111, Kings 99

In Sacramento, Anthony Morrow made six 3-pointers and scored 24 points to lead New Jersey to its season-high third straight win.

Deron Williams had 19 points, 15 assists and six rebounds for the Nets, who had lost 12 of their previous 13 visits to Sacramento. Gerald Wallace added 18 points, Kris Humphries had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Johan Petro scored 12 points.

Clippers 105, Jazz 96

In Los Angeles, Chris Paul scored 26 points, Blake Griffin added 24 and the Clippers won their fifth in a row for the first time since 2006.

Randy Foye added 17 points and DeAndre Jordan had 10 rebounds for surging Los Angeles, which has won six straight at home and is a game behind the first-place Lakers in the Pacific Division.

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