NBA roundup

Bryant returns, lifts LA over Grizzlies

New York’s Danillo Gallinani was called for an offensive foul as he goes up for 2, but pushes off on Kevin Garnett. New York’s Danillo Gallinani was called for an offensive foul as he goes up for 2, but pushes off on Kevin Garnett. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)
Associated Press / February 24, 2010

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Kobe Bryant returned to the lineup after missing five games with an ankle injury and hit a 3-pointer with 4.3 seconds left, lifting the Los Angeles Lakers to a 99-98 victory over the Grizzlies last night in Memphis.

Bryant led the Lakers with 32 points, including his team’s final 9 points. His 3-pointer with 54 seconds left tied the game.

Pau Gasol added 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Lakers, who won for the seventh time in their last eight road games.

The Grizzlies, who lost their fifth straight home game, were led by O.J. Mayo’s 25 points. Zach Randolph scored 20 and grabbed 14 rebounds, his seventh straight double double.

Mayo’s two missed free throws with 18.8 seconds allowed the Lakers an opportunity to complete a comeback from 9 points down early in the fourth quarter. Had Mayo made his free throws, the Grizzlies would have led by 4.

Absent from the Lakers lineup for his longest stretch in five years, Bryant scored 9 points in the opening quarter, including a 4-point play, and triggered a late first-quarter run with two breakaway dunks to increase the Lakers’ lead to 11.

Cavaliers 105, Hornet 95 - LeBron James had 20 points and 12 assists, and Antawn Jamison scored 18 points in his first start as host Cleveland beat New Orleans to snap a three-game losing streak.

New Orleans rookies Marcus Thornton and Darren Collison combined for 59 points, including a franchise-record 23 from Thornton in the second quarter.

James, though, closed out another win for Cleveland in the final two minutes, hitting a 3-pointer and finishing a 3-point play to escape a huge night from the Hornets’ rookies.

Suns 104, Thunder 102 - Jason Richardson connected on a floater from the foul line with .7 seconds left to complete visiting Phoenix’s rally from a 10-point deficit and snap Oklahoma City’s nine-game winning streak.

Amar’e Stoudemire scored 30 points and Richardson had his first double double of the season with 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Suns, who were down 10 with 3 1/2 minutes to play.

Trail Blazers 102, Nets 93 - Brandon Roy scored 10 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter and visiting Portland avoided blowing a big lead for a second straight game by holding off New Jersey.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 27 points and Andre Miller had 20 as the Trail Blazers overcame an ankle injury to recently acquired center Marcus Camby in snapping a two-game losing streak and winning for only the sixth time in 14 games.

Timberwolves 91, Heat 88 - Kevin Love had 17 points and 12 rebounds and Minnesota took advantage of Dwyane Wade’s absence for a rare road victory.

Jonny Flynn added 16 points for the Timberwolves, who snapped a six-game losing streak and won for just the fifth time in 29 road games this season.

Pistons 101, Kings 89 - Richard Hamilton scored 30 points and Detroit pulled away in the third quarter to defeat struggling host Sacramento.

After taking a 12-point lead at halftime, Hamilton keyed a third-quarter effort that hiked the Pistons’ advantage to 30 at one point. Hamilton scored the first 8 points of the quarter and finished the period with 14 as the Pistons took an 83-58 lead into the fourth.

76ers 110, Warriors 102 - Lou Williams scored 26 points, including a clinching 3-pointer with 14.5 seconds left, and Andre Iguodala added 22 points and seven assists as Philadelphia beat the Golden State in Oakland, Calif.

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