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Hits and misses from starring Bryant not enough as Magic beats Lakers

TWO late missed jump shots by Kobe Bryant spoiled a banner performance by the Los Angles star, and allowed the Orlando Magic to beat the Lakers 109-103 in yesterday's match of NBA divisional leaders.

Orlando, which has stayed under the rader this season while attention is lavished on the Lakers, Boston and Cleveland, made it six straight wins, giving the Magic the league's second-best record behind the Cavaliers.

Jameer Nelson, who finished with 28 points, got 10 of the Magic's last 12 points, including a 3-pointer with 35 seconds left that put Orlando up by a point, and he then sank four free throws.

Bryant had 28 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists to post the 15th triple-double of his career and first since April 1, 2005, but was left to rue two errant jumpers in the waning moments.

Cavaliers 92, Hornets 78

In Cleveland, LeBron James shook off a cold and a poor prior performance to star in Cleveland's win over New Orleans.

James finished with 29 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists one night after he went 8-of-28 and had eight turnovers in an overtime loss at Chicago.

The win made it an even 20 unbeaten at home for Cleveland this season.

New Orleans was called for five technical fouls, and had two players ejected in the final two minutes.

76ers 109, Spurs 87

In Philadelphia, the hosts notched a sixth straight win by cruising past San Antonio.

Thaddeus Young scored a career-high 27 points and Andre Iguodala added 21 for the 76ers, who surprisingly pulled away late against the Southwest Division-leading Spurs.

Warriors 119, Hawks 114

In Oakland, California, Jamal Crawford scored 29 points, including the go-ahead basket in the final three minutes, to help Golden State overcome Atlanta.

The Hawks lost for the fifth time in six games.

Jazz 101, Grizzlies 91

In Memphis, Tennessee, Utah extended its dominance of Memphis with a seventh-straight defeat.

Deron Williams scored 27 points and Ronnie Brewer added 21 as the Jazz snapped a five-game road skid for Utah, which was coming off a humbling 22-point loss to lowly Oklahoma City on Tuesday.

Timberwolves 105, Suns 103

In Phoenix, Minnesota rallied from an 11-point third quarter deficit to edge Phoenix and notch a sixth win in seven games.

Al Jefferson had 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Timberwolves.

Jason Richardson missed a potential winning 3-pointer from the corner at the buzzer.

Pacers 111, Raptors 104

In Indianapolis, Mike Dunleavy made all three free throws with less than a minute left to preserve Indiana's win over fast-finishing Toronto.

Trailing by 24 points after three quarters, Toronto made an improbable rally by limiting the Pacers to just 6-of-21 shooting over the final 12 minutes and chipping away at the lead. The Raptors got as close as 100-99 before Indiana responded.

Danny Granger scored 23 points to lead the Pacers, who haven't held an opponent under 100 points for nearly a month.

Bucks 129, Kings 122

In Sacramento, California, Michael Redd scored a season-high 44 points for Milwaukee, which withstood a fourth-quarter rally from Sacramento after leading by as many as 23.

The Kings have not won consecutive games since early November.

Thunder 89, Pistons 79

In Oklahoma City, the home team notched its first consecutive wins in its inaugural season, downing Detroit.

Kevin Durant scored 32 points to lead the Thunder, who used a 13-point run at the start of the fourth quarter to set up the win.

Neither team had led by more than six points up to that stage, and by the end of the run they were ahead by 17.

Wizards 96, Knicks 89

In Washington, the hosts used a late 15-0 run to sink New York.

Antawn Jamison scored 28 points to lead the struggling Wizards, who improved greatly on the average 121.3 points conceded per game in three previous meetings with the Knicks.


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