Lakers blow lead but rally for OT win over Warriors in possible playoff preview Print
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Monday, 24 March 2008 23:37
NBA Headline News

 The Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors got an exciting taste of how competitive their potential playoff matchup might be.
Lamar Odom made the go-ahead layup with 9.1 seconds left in overtime, and Los Angeles shook off Golden State's frantic regulation rally to hang on for a 123-119 victory Monday night, avenging its four-point loss one night earlier.
``We felt like we should've won the game last night, but Stephen (Jackson) made a couple of big shots, and tonight we made plays down the stretch,'' Los Angeles' Kobe Bryant said.
Bryant scored 23 of his 30 points after halftime while playing with a gash under his left eye, and Odom had 23 points and 21 rebounds as the Lakers reclaimed the Western Conference's top spot and avenged Sunday night's 115-111 defeat.
The Warriors are in eighth place in the conference, which means the teams would meet in the first round of the playoffs if they hang on to their spots.
``I think both games, going down to the wire, they're good games,'' said Golden State's Baron Davis, who had 30 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
In other NBA games, it was: Detroit 110, Phoenix 105 in overtime; Houston 108, Sacramento 100; Miami 78, Milwaukee 73; New Jersey 106, New York 91; Philadelphia 95, Boston 90; Denver 120, Memphis 106; and Seattle 97, Portland 84.
At Oakland, Calif., the Lakers blew a nine-point lead late in regulation before rallying to win a night after overcoming a 26-point deficit before losing at home Sunday.
Los Angeles couldn't have done it without Sasha Vujacic, who scored 19 points and hit a 3-pointer with 43 seconds left in overtime.
The Lakers also got a big break from referee Bob Delaney, who called Monta Ellis for a curious offensive foul on Derek Fisher - who didn't like the call any more than Ellis - before the Warriors could even inbound the ball with 4 seconds left in OT.
``It's unfortunate, in a situation like that, that we didn't get an opportunity to get a shot up,'' Davis said.
The game felt an awful lot like a playoff preview as Don Nelson kept Davis and Jackson on the floor the entire night, while Phil Jackson never took Odom out and gave Bryant just 65 seconds on the bench even after he got hit in the face inadvertently by Davis, causing a cut that required five postgame stitches.
``I thought our comeback was great,'' Nelson said. ``We really battled, and didn't have great games from everybody. I played my guys a lot of minutes both games, and fatigue was a bit of a factor, but we were right there to win it. It was a really great basketball game.''
Pistons 110, Suns 105, OT
At Auburn Hills, Mich., Chauncey Billups scored nine of his 32 points in overtime as Detroit ended Phoenix's seven-game winning streak.
The Pistons, who beat the Suns for the second time in a month, won despite missing All-Star guard Richard Hamilton (hip) and backup Juan Dixon (calf).
Amare Stoudemire led Phoenix with 33 points.
Rockets 108, Kings 100
Rafer Alston scored 28 points and Tracy McGrady added 17 as the Houston Rockets gave coach Rick Adelman his 800th career victory.
Adelman, who won 395 games coaching Sacramento from 1998-2006, became the 13th coach to reach the milestone. He's one of six active coaches with 800 wins, joining Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan, Don Nelson and George Karl.
Kevin Martin scored 18 to lead the Kings, who've lost eight of their last nine road games.
Heat 78, Bucks 73
Chris Quinn, filling in for an injured Jason Williams, scored a career-high 24 points to lead the Miami Heat at home. Quinn was a late insertion into the starting lineup for Williams, who'll be sidelined a week with a right thumb injury that required a hard cast.
Michael Redd scored 24 points to lead the Bucks.
Nets 106, Knicks 91
At New York, Vince Carter scored 27 points, Richard Jefferson added 26 and the New Jersey Nets moved within one game of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
New Jersey beat its cross-Hudson rivals for the first time this season after three losses.
Jamal Crawford led the Knicks with 26 points.
76ers 95, Celtics 90
At Boston, Andre Iguodala scored 28 points, including 10 in a row during a 19-0 fourth-quarter run, as the Philadelphia 76ers rallied from an 11-point deficit.
Kevin Garnett scored 18 for Boston, which lost its second straight game after winning 14 out of 15.
Nuggets 120, Grizzlies 106
Allen Iverson had 26 points and seven assists, while Carmelo Anthony finished with 23 points as the Denver Nuggets used a big second half to win at Memphis.
J.R. Smith led the Nuggets, scoring 25 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, as Denver stretched the lead to as many as 22 in winning its third straight.
SuperSonics 97, Trail Blazers 84
At Seattle, Kevin Durant scored 23 points and the SuperSonics snapped their 11-game losing streak.
With Sonics owner Clay Bennett pressing to move his team to Oklahoma City as early as next season, it may have been the final time the longtime rivals faced off just 180 miles apart.
 

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