|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 13 April 2007 05:56|
Bryant's nine 50-point games this season are the most in the NBA since Wilt Chamberlain scored at least 50 nine times in the 1964-65 season. Chamberlain averaged a record 50.4 points three years earlier.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Clippers (38-40), who are tied with Golden State for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference. Both trail the seventh-place Lakers by 1 1/2 games.
Bryant shot 17-of-33 from the floor and made all 15 of his free throws. He also had nine rebounds. But he was held scoreless after making two foul shots to give the Lakers a 102-92 lead with 8:46 remaining.
The Clippers outscored the Lakers 26-8 after that.
Cavaliers 94, Nets 76
CLEVELAND (AP) - LeBron James looked playoff ready. The New Jersey Nets aren't quite there yet.
James scored 35 points in 36 minutes and Cleveland secured home-court advantage for the first round of the NBA playoffs with a win over the Nets, who blew a chance to inch closer to a postseason berth.
Larry Hughes added 19 points for Cleveland, tied with idle Chicago at 47-32 for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Cavs have three games left, and they'll probably have to win them all and hope the Bulls - who own the tiebreaker between the clubs - stumble to avoid a possible first-round matchup against the Miami Heat.
With a few trademark dunks, and more energy than he's shown in recent weeks, James took over in the third quarter, scoring 15 points when the Cavaliers shot 82 percent (14-of-17) from the field and outscored New Jersey 36-19 to blow the game open.
Vince Carter scored 26 points to lead the Nets (37-41), who came in as the East's No. 7 seed.
A victory would have reduced New Jersey's magic number for clinching a sixth straight playoff appearance to one. However, the Nets were out of synch offensively and got just five points from Richard Jefferson and only eight from Jason Kidd.