L.A. Lakers 115, Golden State 113

LOS ANGELES, March 25 (AP) -- Kobe Bryant's 50-point streak ended Sunday night, and he didn't seem the slightest bit disappointed.

"Off-night," Bryant said with a smile after scoring 43 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers past the Golden State Warriors 115-113, extending their winning streak to a season-high five games.

Bryant had scored at least 50 points in four games in a row to become the second player in NBA history with such a streak, joining the late Wilt Chamberlain.

Chamberlain scored 50 or more in a record seven straight games in December 1961. He also had a five-game streak and three four-game streaks during the 1961-62 season, when he averaged a record 50.4 points.

"What? No!" Bryant said emphatically when asked if he felt any disappointment about falling short of 50. "I've always said Wilt's a human video game. For me to be in the same breath with him, even if it's a short little breath, is pretty cool."

When Bryant scored 17 points in the first nine minutes, it appeared his streak was destined to continue. But the Warriors used multiple defenses and a lot of double teams after that, making it tough for the Lakers' star to get open.

"We held him to 43, by God," Warriors coach Don Nelson said as he finished speaking with reporters.

"We did a good job. I think our defense was solid," Nelson said. "We tried to make it hard for Kobe. What a great performance - I can't imagine what he's been doing."

Bryant began his streak following a seven-game losing streak - the longest of coach Phil Jackson's career as a head coach.

"I think it energized us as a team and I think it energized the city, and I think that's great," Bryant said of the streak. "Before that, we were dead in the water. We're playing with a lot more energy now."

Lamar Odom had 24 points and 19 rebounds to equal his career high, and Smush Parker scored 13 points for the Lakers (38-32), who have beaten the Warriors eight straight times and in 13 of the past 14 games between the teams.

Monta Ellis matched his career high with 31 points to lead the Warriors (33-38), who lost for just the third time in 11 games. Al Harrington added 23 points, Stephen Jackson scored 16, and Andris Biedrins had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Golden State.

Bryant began his 50-point streak on March 16, scoring an NBA season-high 65 points in an overtime victory over Minnesota. He kept it going against Portland (50), Memphis (60) and New Orleans/Oklahoma City (50).

Bryant has scored 50 or more points 18 times in his career to rank third on the NBA list. Chamberlain had 118 games of 50 or more points, and Michael Jordan accomplished the feat on 31 occasions.

Bryant shot 15-of-33 from the floor and 9-of-11 from the foul line.

"Kobe came off his streak - had an off-game," Jackson said. "But he was instrumental in that one.

"They did everything to take the ball out of his hands tonight. It was a real good defensive effort by them."

Bryant also had nine rebounds, no assists, and seven of the Lakers' season-high 26 turnovers. The Warriors committed only eight turnovers, but were outrebounded 63-33.

"They kept getting putbacks and they killed us in points in the paint," Golden State's Baron Davis said. "That was the difference in the game."

A 3-pointer by Davis with 27.1 seconds to play drew the Warriors within one point, but a foul shot by Bryant and two more by Odom made it 114-110 with 18 seconds to go.

Jackson's 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds remaining made it a one-point game again. Bryant made a free throw one second later, but missed the second. The Warriors got the rebound and called timeout with six-tenths of a second left. Harrington took the inbounds pass and tried a 3-pointer that missed, but it came after the final buzzer.

The Warriors scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter for a 95-85 lead. It was 98-90 when Bryant made a 3-pointer and a long jumper, giving him 36 points and triggering a 14-0 run that gave the Lakers a six-point lead with 5:05 left. They were on top the rest of the way.

Bryant came out firing, making his first four shots for nine points in the opening 2:04 as the Lakers took a 12-2 lead. He went 7-of-14 for 17 points in the first quarter, which ended with Los Angeles leading 35-25. His teammates shot 7-of-9 in the period.

The second quarter was a much different story, as Bryant shot 2-of-4 for four points to raise his total to 21 at halftime. The Lakers led 48-29 before the Warriors rallied to move within four points at the break.

Bryant entered the fourth quarter with 31 points. He reached 40 by making a short jumper with 4:17 left, but was held to three foul shots after that.

Notes: Bryant was hit with a technical foul late in the first quarter, giving him 12 this season. ... Bryant sat out 1:38 of the second quarter, and played the entire second half. ... The game was the 1,300th for Jackson, who became the 14th NBA coach to reach that milestone. He had been tied with Red Holzman, his coach when he played for the New York Knicks. ... Lakers swing man Maurice Evans missed his third game because of a sore right knee. ... Parker made his 152nd straight start despite the sprained left ankle that forced him out of Friday night's game at New Orleans/Oklahoma City. Teammate Brian Cook returned to action after missing five games because of a sprained left ankle and went scoreless in four minutes. ... The Warriors, shooting for their first playoff berth since 1994, have won only eight road games - tied for the second-lowest total in the NBA.


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