9:30 PM ET, January 11, 2009
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
Bynum has season-high 24, Bryant sets final score with late free throws
Not so Sunday night.
Andrew Bynum scored a season-high 24 points including a go-ahead follow shot with 18.5 seconds remaining, Vladimir Radmanovic added a season-high 18 points, and the Lakers beat the Miami Heat 108-105 to become the first Western Conference team to reach 30 victories.
• Andrew Bynum scored a season-high 24 points, including a go-ahead follow with 18.5 seconds left, to help the Lakers become the first Western Conference team to reach 30 wins.
• Los Angeles has won four straight and six of its last seven home games vs. Miami.
• The Heat fell to 1-2 on their current seven-game road trip and fell to 6-2 vs. the Pacific Division this season.
-- ESPN research
Bryant had 19 points and seven assists, but shot just 5-of-14. Gasol had 14 points and 18 rebounds to match his career high, but shot 4-of-15.
"You have to hand it to Miami's defense," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "They wanted to shut down those two players, and they did."
Outside of Bryant and Gasol, the Lakers shot 28-of-54 and scored 75 points.
"That's good. That's a good sign, a good thing," Gasol said. "We might be struggling offensively or shooting from the field, but we still get it done and we still come up with ways to win ballgames."
Bryant's performance on offense was probably affected by his work at the defensive end, where he guarded Miami star Dwyane Wade.
"We got other guys involved," Bryant said. "It's part of my responsibility to this team to try to do what it takes on every given night, any given night, to ensure victory for our ballclub and that includes chasing [Wade] around."
The two bumped heads late in the game, and Bryant needed four stitches to close a cut over his right eye. Wade also had a gash on his head.
"He just drove the ball, I was able to cut him off a little bit, our heads bumped," Bryant said.
Wade said he enjoyed going up against Bryant.
"You play for the matchups," Wade said. "And it was in the concept of team ball. We both played hard. He was denying me all over the court. To me, it was fun. I had to figure out a way to get open. It was a good game, a competitive game and fun to be a part of. Games against guys like Kobe, you love to play those games."
After Bynum tipped in Bryant's miss to give the Lakers a 104-102 lead, Chris Quinn missed a baseline jumper after Bryant and Wade collided and the ball found its way to Quinn. Radmanovic got the rebound and was fouled with 6.6 seconds left. An 83.3 percent shooter from the foul line, he made both shots to give the Lakers a four-point lead.
Daequan Cook made a 3-pointer to cut the Lakers' lead to 106-105, but Bryant made two foul shots with 4.2 seconds remaining to complete the scoring. Cook missed a desperation 3-pointer as time expired.
Orlando and Boston each got its 30th win earlier Sunday, but the Magic have eight losses and the Celtics nine.
Wade led the Heat (19-17) with 27 points and nine assists, and rookie Michael Beasley scored 16 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter. Cook added 17 points, and Shawn Marion and Quinn added 12 points apiece.
"They made a good comeback at us with Beasley getting some shots down there in the fourth quarter," Jackson said. "I thought we finished well enough to feel good about our performance."
Miami's bench outscored the Lakers' bench 56-20.
"This is something that's been an ongoing tale with our team," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We're getting contributions from different guys. A lot of times we don't know who it's going to be, but guys are stepping up. We keep on preaching to our bench that, one, we're going to play the bench and we need them to give us minutes and be productive; and two, just to be ready because you don't know when your number's going to be called."
A tip-in by Gasol, a 3-pointer by Radmanovic and two free throws by Gasol gave the Lakers a 96-90 lead with 4:08 to play. It was 100-93 when Beasley scored seven points during a 9-2 run that tied the game at 102 with 38 seconds left, setting the stage for Bynum.
A basket by Beasley to start the fourth quarter moved the Heat within two points before Vujacic scored five points during an 8-2 spurt to give the Lakers an 85-77 lead. But Wade scored seven points and Udonis Haslem added four during a 13-4 run that gave the Heat a 90-89 lead with 5 1/2 minutes left.
The Lakers scored the first 12 points of the third quarter for a 62-51 lead. The Heat missed seven shots and committed two turnovers before a 3-pointer by Cook broke a scoreless drought of nearly five minutes.
The Heat drew within four points before Bryant scored six straight and assisted on a 3-pointer by Fisher, putting Los Angeles ahead 73-60. Miami responded by outscoring the Lakers 13-4 to finish the third period to draw within four again.
The Heat held the Lakers to a season-low point total in beating them 89-87 last month in Miami. Wade, the NBA's leading scorer, had 35 points in that game. ... Lakers F Lamar Odom (bone bruise, right knee) sat out his third game. He's listed as day-to-day. Teammates Jordan Farmar (left knee) and Luke Walton (right foot) are also sidelined. ... The Heat are 1-2 on a franchise-record seven game road trip that continues Tuesday night at Minnesota. ... Miami has lost four straight games to the Lakers at Staples Center since beating them 104-102 on Christmas Day in 2004. ... The Lakers are 20-2 at home and 10-4 on the road. Their 22 home games are tied for the most in the NBA with Charlotte, and their 14 road games are a league low.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||43-93 (.462)||37-83 (.446)|
|3PM-3PA||9-23 (.391)||9-17 (.529)|
|FTM-FTA||10-14 (.714)||25-31 (.806)|
|Fast Break Points||10||11|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||28 (0/0)||16 (0/0)|