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Lakers outlast Celtics in heated overtime affair

LAMAR Odom made a pair of free throws with 16 seconds left in overtime to give the Los Angeles Lakers a 110-109 victory over Boston yesterday and snap the Celtics' 12-game NBA winning streak.

In a contest between last year's NBA finals combatants and likely title contenders for this season, Kobe Bryant scored 26 points with 10 rebounds and Pau Gasol had 24 and 14 for the Lakers.

It is the second time this season that Los Angeles has stopped a Boston winning streak, with the win on Christmas Day stopping a 19-game fun by the Celtics.

Paul Pierce scored 21 points for Boston, and All-Star Ray Allen had 22, but he missed a desperation, off-balance shot at the buzzer while Boston fans screamed for a foul call.

Bryant, who scored 61 and 36 points in his previous two games, hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, the last with 1:30 left in regulation to make it 101-100 -- the Lakers' first lead of the half. But after Pierce made one of two free throws with 30 seconds left, Bryant's attempted game winner banged off the rim.

After a timeout with 7.7 seconds left, Pierce dribbled the clock down before Bryant poked the ball away. Eddie House got it and put up a sideways, one-handed 3-point attempt at the buzzer that wasn't close.

Bryant missed his last five shots of the game.

Gasol made one of two free throws to give the Lakers a 108-107 lead with 1:11 left in overtime, then Boston's Glen Davis made a jumper -- his only basket of the game after six misses. Bryant then Davis both missed before Davis fouled Odom for the winning free throws.

Pierce and Allen had half-chances in the dying seconds for Boston but could not find the winner.¤

Jazz 115, Mavericks 87

In Salt Lake City, Deron Williams shook off a deep thigh bruise and scored 34 points and handed out 12 assists to lead Utah to a rout of Dallas.

Kyle Korver scored a season-high 20 points in his first start of the season, Ronnie Brewer scored 17 and Mehmet Okur added 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Jazz.

Josh Howard led Dallas with 18 points and Dirk Nowitzki scored 14 -- needing 20 attempts to get there _ but the Mavericks saw their four-game winning streak end. It was Dallas' first loss since coach Rick Carlisle put Jason Kidd in charge of calling plays.

76ers 99, Pacers 94

In Philadelphia, Samuel Dalembert had 18 points and 20 rebounds, and Andre Miller and Andre Iguodala also had double-doubles to lead Philadelphia over Indiana.

The Sixers won only hours after they learned power forward Elton Brand needed season-ending surgery on his right shoulder. The Sixers improved to 11-8 this season without Brand, an encouraging sign their playoff push will continue without their US$80 million man.

Miller had 13 points and 12 assists, while Iguodala had 20 points and 11 assists.

Indiana dropped its third straight.


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