The NBA roundup ...
All smiles after an all-too-rare victory, Kobe Bryant got a locker-room visit from Attorney General Eric Holder, who wanted to know how the Los Angeles Lakers’ point-guard-by-default was holding up.
“I’m beat up,” replied Bryant, who sat at his locker with a cold pack on his bothersome back, wraps on both knees and feet in a plastic tub filled with water and ice. “Trucking along, though.”
Straining to work out the kinks in an offense coach Mike D’Antoni compared to dancing with two left feet, the Lakers ended a four-game losing streak by holding off the worst-in-the-NBA Washington Wizards 102-96 on Friday night, thanks in large part to Bryant’s 30 points and seven assists.
“We’re not there yet, we’re not even close. We’re not close to being a good team,” said D’Antoni, who at one point stomped his foot in anger at his 10-14 club. “But can you build on it? I hope so.”
He also called his players “lackadaisical” and “lethargic.”
Bryant made only 9 of 29 shots, and he took one particularly painful tumble to the court, but his performance also included one real highlight-reel play. With a little under 11/2 minutes left, he sneaked in from the 3-point arc to tip in a missed free throw by Dwight Howard, who was 4 for 8 at the line and finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds.
PACERS 95, 76ERS 85
INDIANAPOLIS— Paul George scored 28 points and George Hill had a triple-double to lead the Indiana Pacers past the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers 95-85.
George scored 14 points during a third-quarter flurry that changed the game. Hill had 15 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds. Roy Hibbert finished with 19 points and a season-high 14 rebounds.
MAGIC 99, WARRIORS 85
ORLANDO, Fla. — J.J. Redick had 16 points and Nikola Vucevic added 12 points and 17 rebounds to help Orlando hold on for the win
Stephen Curry led Golden State with 25 points and David Lee had 24.
BUCKS 90, CAVS 86
CLEVELAND — Monta Ellis scored a season-high 33 points, Brandon Jennings added 16 and the Bucks picked up their fourth consecutive victory.
Kyrie Irving scored 26 points for Cleveland, which committed a season-high 27 turnovers.
RAPTORS 95, MAVS 74
TORONTO — Linas Kleiza scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, rookie Terrence Ross had 18 points and Toronto snapped a six-game losing streak.
TIMBERWOLVES 113, HORNETS 102
NEW ORLEANS — Nikola Pekovic scored a season-high 31 points, Andrei Kirilenko had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and the Timberwolves won their third straight game.
THUNDER 113, KINGS 103
OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant scored 31 points, Serge Ibaka added 18 points and 11 rebounds and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Sacramento Kings 113-103 for their 10th straight win.
NETS 107, PISTONS 105, 2OTS
NEW YORK — Joe Johnson made a jumper from just inside the arc as time expired in the second overtime, giving Brooklyn the victory.
Johnson finished with 28 points for the Nets.
ROCKETS 101, CELTICS 89
HOUSTON — James Harden scored 21 points and Greg Smith added 20 to help the Rockets get the win.
Paul Pierce led Boston with 18 points after scoring a season-high 34 in the Celtics’ double-overtime win at Dallas on Wednesday.
Harden, who had scored 30 or more in his last two games, got off to a slow start.
before heating up in the third quarter. Chandler Parsons added 15 points and Omer Asik had nine points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who won their second straight.
Rajon Rondo had 15 points, 13 assists and four steals for Boston, but also committed seven turnovers.