x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Kobe miss costs Lakers dear as Jazz end losing streak

Bryant hit a three-pointer with 16 seconds left to tie the score but then fumbled the ball away and a free throw results in a 86-85 win for Utah.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant looks at his hands after fumbling with the ball. Jae C Hong / AP Photo
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant looks at his hands after fumbling with the ball. Jae C Hong / AP Photo

Rookie Gordon Hayward hit the game-winning free throw with six seconds left and scored a career-high 22 points as the Utah Jazz edged the Los Angeles Lakers 86-85.

Paul Millsap scored 22 points for the Jazz, who halted an eight-game losing streak with the victory at Staples Center arena.

The Jazz had a five-point lead before Kobe Bryant helped Los Angeles storm back with two three-point shots late in the game.

Bryant finished with 20 points and hit a tying three-pointer with 16 seconds left. Bryant then tried to beat the buzzer with a drive to the basket but fumbled the ball away.

"It slipped out of my hand," Bryant said. "They made big shots. They made big plays. We just played a little lackadaisical."

Hayward missed the first free throw but converted the second and then held off Bryant's desperate bid to get even. "It was fun," Hayward said. "You're out there competing, especially against Kobe Bryant. He elbowed me early in the second half, and I gave him another elbow in the fourth quarter, so we were going at it and competing.

"I mean, you grew up watching Kobe do his thing, and now you're out there as a competitor just trying to play as hard as you can against him."

With their second consecutive defeat following a 17-1 stretch, the Lakers may have lost the chance to catch San Antonio at the top of the National Basketball Association's Western Conference standings.

San Antonio have a 3 1/2-game lead with five games remaining for the Lakers.

Meanwhile, Rajon Rondo scored 16 points with 13 assists and the Boston Celtics moved into a tie for the No 2 seed in the Eastern Conference by beating the Philadelphia 76ers 99-82.

With the win, the Celtics and Heat were tied at 54-23 with four games left. The Celtics would win the tie-breaker because they beat Miami in their first three meetings this season; the teams play again in Miami on Sunday.

Paul Pierce scored 18 points, Kevin Garnett had 14 and Ray Allen had 13 for Boston, which is 8-8 in the past month. Nenad Krstic scored eight points in 18 minutes after missing two games with bruised right knee, and Jermaine O'Neal had nine points in 12 minutes as the Celtics try to find big men to fill in for Shaquille O'Neal.

RESULTS (home team in CAPS)

San Antonio 97 ATLANTA 90
CLEVELAND 99 Charlotte 89
NEW JERSEY 107 Minnesota 105
ORLANDO 78 Milwaukee 72
WASHINGTON 107 Detroit 105
BOSTON 99 Philadelphia 82
NY KNICKS 131 Toronto 118
CHICAGO 97 Phoenix 94
LA Clippers 82 MEMPHIS 81
Sacramento 104 HOUSTON 101
Oklahoma City 101 DENVER 94
Golden State 108 PORTLAND 87
Utah 86 LA LAKERS 85