Hot Bryant downs Rockets


HOUSTON, Nov 5 – Kobe Bryant scored 41 points Wednesday to help the Los Angeles Lakers post their second straight National Basketball Association overtime victory, 103-102 over the Houston Rockets.KOBE_BRYANTAndrew Bynum added 17 points with 17 rebounds for the Lakers, while Ron Artest and Trevor Ariza scored 15 points apiece in their first meeting since they swapped teams in July.

The Rockets inked Ariza less than a week after Artest departed Houston for the Lakers.

Carl Landry scored 20 points to lead six Rockets players in double figures for Houston. Luis Scola added 16 points and 13 rebounds and Chuck Hayes had 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Artest and Ariza guarded each other much of the game and both hit three-pointers in the final minute of regulation.

Artest’s three with 30 seconds to play put the Lakers up 92-89.

Ariza won a jump ball with 19.6 seconds to play, got the ball back and drained a three-pointer with 14.2 seconds left.

Bryant had the ball in the final seconds of regulation, but Hayes smacked it out of bounds, and the Rockets knocked away the long inbound pass as time expired.

With 90 seconds left in overtime, Bryant hit a jump shot from the free-throw line. He then hit a free-throw for a 100-98 Lakers lead.

Aaron Brooks’ layup tied it again, before Bynum’s free throws with 44.2 seconds left in overtime put the Lakers up.

After Landry hit a hook shot for the Rockets, Bynum responded by making one of two free throws.

Ariza had the ball in the final seconds, but Derek Fisher stripped the ball and time expired.