LOS ANGELES, Feb. 17 (Ticker) -- Kobe Bryant's slicing layup with 31 seconds left lifted the Los Angeles Lakers to an 89-86 triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers.

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Playing at the Staples Center for the first time in more than two weeks, Los Angeles got its second half off to a positive start by surviving a tight game throughout. The game was deadlocked 86-86 when Bryant penetrated through the lane, took a bump from Shareef Abdur-Rahim and scored.

Bryant missed the ensuing free throw but Abdur-Rahim missed a 15-footer from the left corner with 13 seconds to go. Bryant was fouled with seven seconds remaining and made 1-of-2 free throws for a 3-point lead.

"It is not about my individual performances," said Bryant, who battled finger and shoulder injuries in the first half of the season. "I do not really care too much about that ... as long as we get the 'W.'"

"(Kobe) played very well," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "I thought his legs might get a little bit tired but he said it was his shoulder that tightened up."

The Trail Blazers had a chance for the tying 3-pointer but Damon Stoudamire's wild attempt in the waning seconds missed badly.

"We missed the shots, you know, that is all it came down to," Blazers forward Darius Miles said. "We just missed the shots."

Bryant finished with 31 points and eight rebounds and fellow All-Star Shaquille O'Neal had 21 and 11. After an erratic first half, the Lakers (32-19) find themselves second in the Pacific Division and battling for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

"We still got to get back on track and we will," O'Neal said. "Guys are starting to get that look in their eyes and guys are starting to play better."

"These games are always tough after the break because you probably practiced once, maybe twice in a five- or six-day period," Lakers guard Derek Fisher said. "It is tough to get rhythm and be consistent, but we did a good job."

Ruben Patterson led Portland with 17 points. Stoudamire was 6-of-16 from the field, including 2-of-8 from 3-point range.

Portland led 82-79 with 3:47 to go but Gary Payton, who had seven of his 15 points in the final quarter, buried a tying 3-pointer 19 seconds later.

Payton put the Lakers on top 84-82 with a driving layup but Abdur-Rahim made a jumper with 2:42 remaining to knot the contest. Bryant and Stoudamire exchanged baskets 22 seconds apart, setting the stage for the final 31 seconds.

"They always make the plays," Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "They just continue to play. They never really look like they get real flustered no matter what the score is. They make plays. It is the sign of a good basketball team."

O'Neal, the Most Valuable Player of Sunday's All-Star Game, had 12 points and six rebounds in the opening quarter, but Los Angeles led just 25-24 after 12 minutes.

The Lakers were ahead 43-40 at the half and pushed the lead to 70-60 in the final minute of the third quarter before allowing Portland back into the game.