Kobe Bryant delivered a sensational performance to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a roller-coaster 139-137 triple overtime victory over the Phoenix Suns.
Bryant drags LA Lakers to another victory after triple overtime
LOS ANGELES // Kobe Bryant delivered a sensational performance to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a roller-coaster 139-137 triple overtime victory over the Phoenix Suns.
Bryant scored 42 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and made nine assists as the Lakers, who squandered a 21-point lead during regulation time, showed their championship mettle with their fifth successive win. They have a 13-1 record since the All-Star break last month.
The Suns' Channing Frye, who finished with 32 points, made three free throws with one second left in the first overtime to send the game into a second extra session, where Lakers' forward Pau Gasol forced the third extra period with two free throws.
Phoenix trailed by 21 points in the third quarter but went on a furious run to stun the Lakers, with Grant Hill making a three-pointer late in the fourth to send the game into overtime after regulation ended 112-112.
In Atlanta, the Chicago Bulls took over the lead in the NBA's Eastern Conference by thrashing the Atlanta Hawks 114-81, making it 10 wins from 11 games.
Derrick Rose had 30 points and 10 assists for Chicago, who were able to rest their starters in the final quarter after setting season highs with 41 points in the second quarter and 72 points in the first half.
Luol Deng finished with 27 points. The Hawks were denied an opportunity to clinch a play-off spot and absorbed their first home loss to Chicago in four years.
Jeff Teague scored 17 of his 20 points in the fourth for Atlanta, which trailed 98-60 after three and also decided to rest their starters in the final period.
In Portland, Gerald Wallace scored 28 points to lead Portland to an easy win 111-76 over Washington.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points before sitting for the fourth quarter for the Trail Blazers, who are jockeying for play-off position in the Western Conference as the season winds to a close.
Portland moved within a game of Denver for the sixth placing, and a game up on seventh-place New Orleans. Jordan Crawford had 12 points for the Wizards, who dropped their seventh straight on the road to fall to just 1-32 away from home.
Portland led by as many as 38 points, and the starting line-up scored all but 20 of the team's points.