NBA Game Summary - Washington at LA Lakers
(Sunday, March 30th)
Final Score: LA Lakers 126, Washington 120 (OT)
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant scored 26 points and the Los Angeles Lakers withstood a number of surges from a game Washington Wizards squad to hold on for a 126-120 overtime victory at Staples Center.
Bryant shot just 7-of-24 from the floor, but dished out a season-high 13 assists, and the Lakers (50-24) moved into sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division - a half-game ahead of the idle Phoenix Suns.
Sasha Vujacic hit six three-pointers on his way to 20 points, and Lamar Odom went for 10 points, 13 boards and seven assists for LA, which snapped a three- game home losing streak and a two-game skid overall.
"We had a couple of big stops at the end," Lakers head coach Phil Jackson said. "Kobe got everybody involved. It obviously made a difference, because his teammates stepped up and made some big shots. A lot of players contributed tonight for the victory."
Caron Butler notched his third career triple-double with 17 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists, while Wizards rookie Nick Young poured in a career- best 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting, and DeShawn Stevenson knocked down a personal-best eight threes on his way to 27 of his own.
"I didn't expect to play much," Young, a USC product and Los Angeles native admitted. "But when Antonio (Daniels) went down, I was in the game. I felt good tonight. It was a heartbreaker to lose. It would have been fun to come home to a win."
The Wizards (38-35), who hit a season-high 17 triples as a team, lost for just the second time in the past seven games and remained a game up on Toronto - loser to New Orleans earlier Sunday - for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Young, Stevenson and Butler keyed a furious second-half rally that culminated in Butler's game-tying three with 19 seconds remaining, ultimately forcing OT.
After Young scored four straight in the extra session and Stevenson got free for a run-out, the Lakers found themselves down 118-114 with about two minutes to go. Derek Fisher knocked down a much-needed three to bring LA back within one, but Young again dropped in a big bucket, hitting a baseline jumper for a 120-117 Washington edge.
But Fisher nailed a long two, and Bryant drew a questionable foul on Stevenson at the other end, then hit a pair of free throws for a one-point LA advantage with 37.8 ticks on the clock.
Washington went to its rookie, who had the hot hand, but Young's fadeaway jumper over Vujacic was short, and the Wizards wasted valuable time before fouling after LA came away with the rebound.
Bryant was eventually the one sent to the line, and though he missed the second of two, Luke Walton came away with a huge offensive board to all but secure the victory.
Walton totaled a season-best 19 points and six rebounds, while Vladimir Radmanovic scored 18 on 4-for-7 shooting from three-point range. Fisher finished with 17.
Antawn Jamison had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Wizards.
LA led 27-25 after one quarter, and the Lakers went to the locker room holding a 58-47 lead. Early in the third, LA pushed its lead to as many as 17, but Washington exploded for 39 points during the period, outscoring the Lakers 39-22 over the final 10 minutes to tie the game at 86 heading to the fourth.
Bryant's pull-up jumper extended the Lakers advantage to 101-92 with 6:26 left in regulation, but Washington again responded.
Young and Butler buried back-to-back threes, and after a Bryant miss, Young canned another from beyond to tie the game at 105 with around three minutes still to go. Even when Walton's putback pushed the LA lead back to four with 1:17 left, Young knocked down a three to make it a one-point game.
Bryant drew a foul and hit a pair of free throws to make it 111-108, but Washington took advantage of a second opportunity to extend the contest. Walton nearly came up with a steal before the Wizards ever got a shot off, but couldn't handle it, and Butler made it hurt when he knocked down a contested three from a difficult angle to tie the game with 10 ticks showing.
Fisher got a decent look at a three from the corner on the final possession of regulation, but it clanged off the iron and the game went to an extra session.
LA reached the 50-win plateau for the 29th time in franchise history, and is now 4-0 in overtime games on the season...Washington has dropped three straight in Los Angeles...The Lakers shot 49 percent from the floor and had 35 assists on 43 made field goals...Daniels, Washington's starting point guard, played fewer than four minutes before spraining his left wrist, opening the door for Young's increased minutes.
03/31 01:02:01 ET