ESPN: Kobe Bryant had a season-high 44 points and 11 assists while making all 16 of his free throws, and the Lakers survived Golden State’s 55-percent shooting for a 124-118 victory over the Warriors on Tuesday night.
Pau Gasol had 27 points and 12 rebounds for the defending NBA champions, who relied even more heavily than usual on Bryant to avoid their third loss in four games over the past five days.
Bryant came through with 17 points in the fourth quarter, clinching his seventh 40-point game of the season on two free throws with 4:04 left. He has 103 40-point games in his career, third-most in NBA history.
Corey Maggette scored 25 points and Monta Ellis added 22 for the Warriors, who beat Phoenix and Boston in the previous three days during the best stretch of another rough start to a season.
Golden State shot superbly and ran its uptempo offense well, but had nobody who could guard Bryant in the Warriors’ seventh straight loss to the Lakers. The Warriors haven’t won three straight games yet this season.
The Lakers still have the NBA’s best record (25-6) despite two 15-point losses in the previous three days, including their 102-87 Christmas flop against Cleveland. They also played their third straight game without starting forward Ron Artest, who gave himself a concussion and a deep cut on his left elbow when he tripped and fell at his home on Christmas.