Bryant tops 30,000 career points

NEW ORLEANS — Kobe Bryant scored 29 points, making him the fifth player in NBA history to score 30,000, and the Los Angeles Lakers snapped a two-game skid with a 103-87 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night.

Bryant entered the game needing only 13 points to eclipse the scoring milestone and did so with a short jumper late in the first half that was perhaps the least spectacular of his baskets, which included the usual array of soaring dunks, demoralizing transition 3-pointers and turnaround, off-balance jumpers.

At 34 years old, Bryant is the youngest to reach the milestone. Wilt Chamberlain was 35 when he hit the mark, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone were each 36 and Michael Jordan was 38.

Dwight Howard added 18 points for the Lakers, who trailed by a point at halftime but seized control with a 13-0 run to open the third quarter, and the lead grew as large as 20.

Ryan Anderson scored 31 for New Orleans, hitting 5 of 8 3-pointers, and Greivis Vasquez added 16 points.

Spurs 110, Bucks 99

At San Antonio, Tony Parker and Gary Neal each scored 22 points, and San Antonio had a season-high 53 rebounds in the win over Milwaukee.

Tim Duncan added 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs. Tiago Splitter had 15 points, Manu Ginobili scored 11 and Matt Bonner had a season-high 12 rebounds.

Monta Ellis had 21 points and 11 assists for Milwaukee. Brandon Jennings added 14 points and Ersan Ilyasova scored all of his 17 points in the first half.

Knicks 100, Bobcats 98

At Charlotte, N.C., J.R. Smith hit a fallaway jumper from the left wing as time expired to give New York a win over Charlotte.

The Bobcats appeared in position to win after a miss by Raymond Felton with 14 seconds left, but rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist made an ill-advised pass and Smith intercepted it.

After a timeout, Smith drove to the left side and hit an 18-footer over Kidd-Gilchrist.

Clippers 112, Mavericks 90

At Los Angeles, Blake Griffin had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Chris Paul added 14 points and 13 assists, propelling Los Angeles over Dallas for its fourth straight victory.

Jamal Crawford had 20 points, Caron Butler scored 16 and DeAndre Jordan had 12 for the Clippers, who shot 50 percent and dominated the entire game, keeping Dallas owner Mark Cuban glued to his seat with his chin cupped in his left hand.

Celtics 104, Timberwolves 94

At Boston, Kevin Garnett had 18 points and 10 rebounds and remained unbeaten against his former team as Boston beat Minnesota in Rajon Rondo's return from a two-game suspension.

The Celtics improved to 10-0 against Minnesota since they acquired Garnett from the Timberwolves during the summer of 2007.

Kevin Love had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Nikola Pekovic scored 14 for the T-Wolves.

Warriors 104, Pistons 97

At Auburn Hills, Mich., Klay Thompson scored 19 of his 27 points in the third quarter to help Golden State pull away to beat Detroit.

Stephen Curry finished with 22 points and 10 assists, his fourth straight 20-10 game, while David Lee added 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors.

Tayshaun Prince was the only Pistons starter to reach double figures with 24 points. Rodney Stuckey had 17 points and fellow reserve Andre Drummond had 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Hawks 108, Nuggets 104

At Atlanta, Josh Smith's steal, jam and free throw with 31 seconds remaining extended Atlanta's lead and the Hawks held on to beat Denver.

Smith had 16 points and 13 rebounds on his 27th birthday, while Al Horford led the Hawks with 25 points and 12 rebounds.

Bulls 95, Cavaliers 85

At Cleveland, Marco Belinelli scored a season-high 23 points, Luol Deng added 22 and Chicago took control early on to beat Cleveland.

Belinelli, starting his second straight game in place of injured shooting guard Richard Hamilton, helped the Bulls bounce back from a four-point home loss to Indiana on Tuesday. They went ahead for good less than two minutes in and shot 66.7 percent in the first quarter.

The Cavaliers have lost 13 of 15 and are 2-7 since point guard Kyrie Irving broke his left index finger last month.

Kings 107, Raptors 100

At Sacramento, Calif., DeMarcus Cousins had 25 points and 13 rebounds to help Sacramento beat Toronto for only its third win in the last 12 games.

The Kings used strong fourth-quarter play from Cousins and Tyreke Evans to earn a rare victory. Sacramento suffered an embarrassing 35-point loss Sunday against the Clippers.

Kyle Lowry scored 29 of his 34 points in the second half for the Raptors.

Jazz 87, Magic 81

At Salt Lake City, Al Jefferson scored a season-high 31 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead Utah over Orlando.

Jefferson had just eight points at halftime but scored 17 in the third quarter and was the difference down the stretch as the Jazz held off a furious Orlando comeback attempt.


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