Kobe scores 40, Lakers beat Jazz in overtime
MANILA, Philippines -- Kobe Bryant scored at least 40 points in back-to-back games and the Los Angeles Lakers outlasted the Utah Jazz in overtime, 90-87, to end the Jazz' unbeaten run at home.
Bryant had 40 points against the Jazz following his season-high 48-point output against the Phoenix Suns yesterday, but he missed a shot at the buzzer that could have won the game for the Lakers in regulation.
Paul Millsap opened the extra period with four straight points, but Bryant and Pau Gasol conspired to give the Lakers back the lead, with Gasol making his first three-point shot of the season to give the Lakers an 86-85 advantage.
"He's got a green light to shoot the 3. As you can tell, guys trusted him. Kobe made a pass to him late in the game, in overtime, at a crucial point," Lakers head coach Mike Brown said in an NBA.com interview.
"To see him step up and hit the 3, it was huge for us."
Andrew Bynum would also come up big in overtime, tipping in a missed shot from Bryant to put the Lakers up 88-85, and blocking a potential go-ahead jumper from Al Jefferson with 1.9 remaining.
Bryant earned his 39th and 40th points from the free throw line, and then blocked Devin Harris' three-point attempt to preserve the Lakers' win.
It was the Lakers' first victory on the road and the first time that the Jazz have lost at home this season.
Gasol finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Bynum had 12 points, nine rebounds and five blocks. Millsap led the Jazz with 29 points and nine boards.
Spurs beat Rockets
The San Antonio Spurs also needed overtime to defeat the Houston Rockets, 101-95.
Strong defense from the Spurs limited the Rockets to only two field goals in overtime, while Richard Jefferson provided the eventual go-ahead 3-pointer for San Antonio with 1:09 to go.
Tony Parker made four free throws in the final 22 seconds to preserve the win, finishing with 28 points.
Tim Duncan had 17 points and 11 rebounds, passing Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
Chicago, Dallas win
Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls had little trouble defeating the Washington Wizards even without reigning league MVP Derrick Rose.
John Lucas III replaced Rose in the starting line-up and had a career-high 25 points to lead the Bulls past the Wizards, 78-64.
The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Boston Celtics, 90-85, with Dirk Nowitzki scoring the go-ahead lay-up with 5.1 seconds to go.
Nowitzki finished with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with 24 points and seven assists.