Thursday, February 20, 2003

NBA Games: Another 40 for Kobe

The Associated Press

One of these days, Kobe Bryant will fail to score 40. In the meantime, the points keep piling up. Bryant reached 40 for the seventh consecutive game Wednesday night, hitting the big four-oh with 8.2 seconds left in a 93-87 victory over the Utah Jazz.

Bryant was booed until the end, when the sellout crowd of 19,911 in Salt Lake City realized he was about to continue the streak. With the crowd chanting "Ko-be! Ko-be!" Bryant got his 40th point on a free throw after the Jazz had no choice but to foul him.

"I never thought I'd hear that," Bryant said. "It felt like the Staples Center out there."

Bryant finished 15-for-29 from the floor and 4-of-6 on 3-pointers.

In other games, Portland crushed Golden State 125-98, Houston topped Phoenix 107-89, Detroit defeated Toronto 89-84, New Orleans downed Washington 87-75, Minnesota beat Denver 85-77, Philadelphia drubbed Chicago 110-82, Seattle defeated New York 103-94 and the Los Angeles Clippers topped Milwaukee 110-104.

Bryant has scored at least 35 in his last 11 games. The Lakers have gone 9-2 during that span.

"I don't really know what it is," Bryant said. "All this has done is help us win games. Maybe when I retire I can look back and see what an accomplishment it was."

When he finally does look back, Bryant will find himself in good company.

The last player to score 40 in as many consecutive games was Michael Jordan, who did it in nine straight early in the 1986-87 season. Wilt Chamberlain scored at least 40 in 14 consecutive games early in the 1961-62 season.

Bryant, who scored 52 the night before in a 106-99 double-overtime win over Houston, decided just before tipoff to play with a sore right knee as the Lakers were without Shaquille O'Neal for the third straight game.

"It's pretty remarkable what he's doing out there. He takes the challenge of winning very seriously," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "He's going to fight his way out of a paper bag. He has a knack for overcoming obstacles."

Trail Blazers 125, Warriors 98

At Portland, Bonzi Wells scored 29 points, 26 in the first half alone.

Portland bounded to a 76-49 halftime lead, the most first-half points scored in the NBA this season, en route to its third consecutive win. The Blazers led by as many as 33 points, and their final point total was a season high.

Golden State's Gilbert Arenas had 22 points in the first meeting between the teams since a postgame fracas Dec. 20.

"This is the same team that beat us on the last shot and we had a rumble with," Arenas said. "We came out like it never happened. They came out hungry."

Rockets 107, Suns 89

At Phoenix, Glen Rice made seven 3-pointers and scored 23 points, Cuttino Mobley scored 22 and Yao Ming outdueled Phoenix's Amare Stoudemire.

Rice, who played his second game after missing four weeks with a shoulder injury, tied his season high for points. Maurice Taylor added 13 points and Moochie Norris had 11 as the Rockets snapped a two-game skid.

Shawn Marion had 24 points and nine rebounds for Phoenix.

Pistons 89, Raptors 84

At Toronto, Chauncey Billups scored 18 points, including a key 3-pointer with 19.4 seconds left, as Eastern Conference-leading Detroit won for the ninth time in 10 games.

Vince Carter scored 16 points - only two in the second half - in his first game since declaring that the Raptors can still make the playoffs.

Corliss Williamson added 16 points for the Pistons, who improved to 37-16 overall and 17-11 on the road. Only Dallas has a better road record.

Hornets 87, Wizards 75

At New Orleans, Jamal Mashburn scored 24 points and Jamaal Magloire had 13 points and 14 rebounds. Mashburn hit a 3-pointer and a pair of runners as New Orleans scored on eight of nine possessions down the stretch to break open a tight game.

Michael Jordan scored 20 to lead Washington, but shot only 8-of-23 in his first game since turning 40.

Timberwolves 85, Nuggets 77

At Denver, Kevin Garnett had 25 points and 14 rebounds and Wally Szczerbiak added a season-high 24 points as Minnesota completed a four-game season sweep of the Nuggets.

Garnett was 4-for-4 from the line and hit a key jump shot in the fourth quarter in getting his 44th double-double of the year.

76ers 110, Bulls 82

At Chicago, Philadelphia turned a tight game into a laugher, outscoring the Bulls 36-8 in the third quarter.

Allen Iverson led the 76ers with 28 points and nine assists, and Kenny Thomas had his seventh double-double with 20 points and 14 rebounds.

SuperSonics 103, Knicks 94

At Seattle, Gary Payton scored 31 points and Rashard Lewis had 26 as the SuperSonics ended a six-game losing streak.

Lewis, who missed the Sonics' previous game with a sprained right ankle, shot 9-of-14 and had eight rebounds. Payton was 11-for-26. Clippers 110, Bucks 104

At Los Angeles, Corey Maggette led six Clippers in double figures with 23 points and Los Angeles defeated Milwaukee, giving the Bucks their first three-game losing streak in 2 1/2 months.

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Xavier 93, LaSalle 71

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Kentucky 66, Arkansas 50
Memphis 80, Louisville 73
Dayton 70, Richmond 63
Indiana 79, Iowa 63
Duke 75, Maryland 70
Mississippi St. 63, Auburn 46
NKU women trounce Brescia

NBA Games: Another 40 for Kobe

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