<
>

Kobe's 25 in fourth, OT lift Lakers past Warriors

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- In the first game since his remarkable
81-point outburst, Kobe Bryant didn't score much -- until he needed
to.

Bryant turned it on late Friday night, scoring 25 of his 30
points in the fourth period and overtime to rally the Los Angeles
Lakers to a 106-105 victory over Golden State.

Bryant, whose 81 points against Toronto on Sunday were the
second-most in NBA history to Wilt Chamberlain's 100 in 1962, said
heading into the game against the Warriors that the only thing
important to him was that the Lakers win.

He made sure they did.

Hesitant to shoot through the opening three quarters, when he
was 2-of-12 from the floor and Los Angeles fell behind 73-66,
Bryant scored 16 in the fourth -- including a pair of free throws to
even it at 94 with 7.1 seconds left in regulation.

"They came out and they zoned up and they trapped and they
doubled, and we just continued to move the ball," Bryant said.

"It took me three quarters to kind of get the rhythm down on
what they were trying to do defensively so I could go into attack
mode in the fourth quarter, where I was able to start attacking the
basket a little bit and get something going."

He scored nine points in overtime, including four free throws in
the final 6.7 seconds to give Los Angeles just enough to withstand
Mickael Pietrus's 3-pointer for Golden State at the buzzer.

"Kobe is always a factor in the game," Los Angeles coach Phil
Jackson said. "I don't think Golden State stopped him from
scoring; he just got other guys involved in the offense. It was a
game where Kobe did not have to force the issue until late."

Bryant, coming off the Lakers' four-day break, finished 7-of-22
from the floor, 2-of-4 from 3-point range and made 14 of 16 free
throws. He also had eight assists.

In Sunday's win over Toronto, he went 28-of-46 from the field.

After making just two shots in the first quarter against the
Warriors and going 0-for-7 the next two periods, it became apparent
that Bryant would not be able to challenge another one of Wilt's
records -- 161 points in consecutive games, which he set by getting
61 against Chicago before his 100-point game against the New York
Knicks on March 2, 1962.

Smush Parker added 17 points for the Lakers against the
Warriors. Baron Davis led Golden State with 29 points and Pietrus
had 20 in his first start of the season.

Derek Fisher, Bryant's former backcourt mate with the Lakers,
scored 18 but was called for an offensive foul with 12.8 seconds
left in regulation, leading to Bryant's tying free throws.

Jason Richardson, Golden State's leading scorer at 22.8 points a
game, did not make the trip to Los Angeles because of a sore back,
and Mike Dunleavy went out with a sprained left ankle early in the
second quarter and did not return.

"It's a tough deal. Mike got hurt early, and J.R. was not with
us," said Warriors coach Mike Montgomery, also pointing out that
Davis fouled out in the closing seconds of overtime, joining
teammates Fisher and Troy Murphy.

"Kobe Bryant is a load down the stretch," Montgomery added.
"He keeps coming at you. He gets calls when he needs calls. He is
smart."

Game notes
Bryant, told before the game that he needed 80 points to
tie Chamberlain's two-game record, laughed and said, "You guys got
me nauseous just thinking about it." ... Los Angeles begins a
seven-game road trip in Detroit on Sunday. ... Richardson, who
scored a season-high 37 points in a 110-104 loss to the Lakers on
Jan. 14, left in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's loss to Dallas.
He may be able to play Saturday when the Warriors host Portland.
Bryant sounded disappointed that Richardson missed the game, saying
he likes the Warriors guard and, "The last time we were up at
Golden State, he had a great game and he torched me a little bit.
So I was looking forward to playing him here and making my
adjustments."