‘King’ Kobe leads Lakers to jazz Utah


SALT LAKE CITY, US, January 13 – Kobe Bryant, who pumped in 48 points against Phoenix the night before, continued his hot hand Wednesday by scoring 40 to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 90-87 overtime win over Utah.

Pau Gasol finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds while centre Andrew Bynum had 12 points and nine rebounds for Los Angeles, who posted their first road win of the year after losing their first three.

Bryant made two free throws late in the overtime to cap the scoring and make it 90-87.

Bryant then blocked Devin Harris’ last-second three-point attempt on the final possession of the contest.

Bryant has carried the Lakers on his back this season as he shot 18-of-31 from the field and 12-of-13 from the free-throw line to lead the Lakers to a 99-83 win over the Suns on Tuesday.

Paul Millsap finished with 29 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz, who had their five-game win streak halted.

Meanwhile,reigning NBA finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki scored the go-ahead basket with five seconds remaining to lift the Dallas Mavericks to a 90-85 win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.

The defending NBA champion Mavericks were facing the Celtics just two days after being welcomed to the White House by American President Barack Obama.

Nowitzki broke an 85-85 tie by beating Celtics defender Kevin Garnett one-on-one then driving to the basket where he was fouled under the basket by a charging Brandon Bass.

Despite hard hit from Bass, Nowitzki still managed to get his shot off as he was falling which gave the Mavericks a two-point lead.

He then made his free throw which put Dallas ahead 88-85 with five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter at the TD Garden arena. Nowitzki made all six of his free throws Wednesday as is a perfect 23 of 23 against Boston since the beginning of last season.

Jason Terry put the finishing touches on the win with a basket on the final possession.