Kobe scores 25, Cook hits big 3 as Lakers down Heat

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Consistency has been an issue for Brian Cook this season. So when he made two 3-pointers in the first 63 seconds against Miami, it gave his confidence a boost.

Cook, who brought a 7.0-point scoring average into the game, scored 25 including the go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat Miami 124-118 on Monday night to snap the Heat's season-high four-game winning streak.

"He's just an incredible shooter. He's probably the best big shooter in the NBA," Kobe Bryant said of the 6-foot-9 Cook, who is starting in place of the injured Lamar Odom.

Bryant scored six of his 25 points in overtime and had eight assists -- the last one setting up Cook for a 3-pointer that gave the Lakers a 117-114 lead with 2:34 left in overtime.

The Heat drew within one point twice after that, but Bryant answered with a basket the first time and two free throws the second, with 37.2 seconds remaining.

Dwyane Wade's pass to James Posey was intercepted by Smush Parker, who made two free throws with 16.1 to play, making it 123-118. Cook added a foul shot to complete the scoring.

"I just read it wrong," Wade said of his costly turnover. "I had a step on Kobe, I tried to draw and then kick, but Parker stayed home. So it caught me at the last second. It was a great defensive play on Parker's side. I should have put it up, but I didn't."

Cook shot 10-of-16 including 4-of-5 from 3-point range. As a team, the Lakers shot 14-of-25 from beyond the arc. Cook also had 10 rebounds, a season-high four assists and three blocked shots in 35 minutes, matching his season-high.

"I just go out there and try to play the same every night," said Cook, the Lakers' first-round draft choice in 2003. "I had a lot of open shots and put them in.

"The first two shots made me feel real good, kind of put me on a roll. I was able to stay out of foul trouble, get a little rhythm in there. I've been getting in early foul trouble and that makes it hard to get into a rhythm."

It also makes it difficult to be consistent.

Parker scored 17 points, Maurice Evans added 12, Andrew Bynum and Vladimir Radmanovic scored 11 each, and Luke Walton had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers.

"This game required a lot of people to contribute," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "You've got to make 3-pointers against Miami. If you don't, you're going to be in a vacuum. You've got to be able to pull up and hit some shots."

Wade led the Heat with 35 points and eight assists. Udonis Haslem added 20 points and 11 rebounds, Posey scored 16, and Alonzo Mourning had a season-high 15 rebounds.

"We haven't forgotten what won us the championship -- and it wasn't that long ago," Mourning said. "So I expect us to get better and stay healthy. I know that as soon as we get our rotation back and everybody back healthy, we're a team to be reckoned with."

The defending NBA champion Heat (17-20) finished their six-game road trip with a 4-2 record. Injured Miami star Shaquille O'Neal, sidelined since tearing cartilage in his left knee Nov. 12, sat out his 31st straight game. He watched from the bench in a dapper light blue three-piece suit.

O'Neal, who played for the Lakers from 1996-2004 and led them to three championships, said he believes he'll be ready to play in the next week or so.

Haslem forced the overtime by making a follow dunk with 22.5 seconds remaining to tie the game at 110. Bryant had given the Lakers a two-point lead 24 seconds earlier when he hit a runner in the lane.

Bryant ran the clock down and drove the lane, but the ball was deflected to Evans, who missed an off-balance shot at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.

The Lakers led 108-101 before Wade scored four straight points and Jason Kapono made a 3-pointer to tie it with 1:58 remaining.

The Lakers (25-13) have won six of their last eight games and 18 home games -- most in the NBA. They play 11 of their next 14 on the road, where they're 7-9 so far.

Game notes
Wade outscored Bryant 40-16 on Christmas day, when the Heat beat the Lakers 101-85 in Miami. ... Miami has a 4-2 record against the Lakers since acquiring O'Neal following the 2003-04 season. ... Interim coach Ron Rothstein said O'Neal will tell him when he's ready to play again. Rothstein said O'Neal had full contact in practice Sunday and will do the same Wednesday in Miami. ... Jackson said C Kwame Brown, sidelined since spraining his right ankle Dec. 31, has been making good progress. "He's been doing a lot of forward running, he's been doing lateral movement," Jackson said. Brown, averaging 8.7 points and 6.6 rebounds, is expected to be sidelined at least two more weeks.