It took two overtime periods, but the Los Angeles Lakers eventually made sure the Memphis Grizzlies stayed behind them in the Western Conference standings.
Andrew Bynum had a season-high 37 points and 16 rebounds, Kobe Bryant scored 22 of his 34 points after halftime, and the Lakers beat Memphis 116-111 in double overtime on Tuesday.
The Lakers entered the game a half-game ahead of Memphis, which had won 12 of 15, for the third spot in the NBA West.
"They're a young team, they're hot, and they were coming for our spot," Bynum said. "We had to defend it, and we did that."
Pau Gasol added 14 points and eight assists for the Lakers, who won their third straight. Bynum and Bryant accounted for the Lakers' last 10 points after Steve Blake connected on a three-pointer to open the second extra period.
Bynum went 15 of 18 from the field. Bryant said Bynum's performance was indicative of a change the Lakers have made in their offensive approach, running more things through the seven-foot centre.
"The big games he had at the start of the season, he was having good games, but he wasn't being featured," Bryant said. "This is different. We're featuring him, and we're looking for him to make plays out of double-teams, and make plays for others, not just himself."
Marreese Speights led the Grizzlies with a season-high 25 points, while Marc Gasol finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Tony Allen had 18 points, and OJ Mayo scored 14, but was seven of 25 from the field. Mike Conley finished with 10 points and 11 assists for Memphis.
The Grizzlies took an early lead in the second overtime, but the Lakers clicked off six straight points, including a pair of baskets by Bynum, for a lead they would not relinquish.
"We played a great game, and we should have won the game," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "We had a few mental lapses at key times. As I'm always telling those guys, it's the small things that win or lose games."