Kobe Bryant had 26 points, six rebounds, and eight assists, and hit the go-ahead shot with 52.5 seconds remaining to lead the Los Angeles Lakers over the Oklahoma City Thunder 114-106 in double overtime on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center. Bryant made just two of his first 13 shots, but made seven of his last 13 shots in the fourth quarter and both overtime periods.
The LaKers have a magic number of one to clinch their fifth straight Pacific Division title.
The Lakers (41-24) trailed by as many as 17 points with 11:11 remaining in the game, but a 26-8 run fueled largely with Devin Ebanks, Steve Blake, and Jordan Hill on the floor gave the Lakers the lead. Bryant hit a running three-pointer from the top of the key to give the Lakers their first lead of the second half with 1:21 remaining.
Russell Westbrook hit two free throws to give the Thunder the lead, but Bryant hit another three-pointer with 51.9 seconds left for a 91-89 lead. Two more Westbrook free throws tied the game, and then Bryant and Kevin Durant traded missed shots to end the quarter and send the game into overtime.
Pau Gasol had 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers, and missed his second triple double of the week by just one assist. Hill had his best game in purple and gold with 14 points and a career-high 15 rebounds off the bench.
Durant had 35 points and eight rebounds to lead the Thunder. Westbrook had 14 points and 10 assists, on 3-of-22 shooting. Serge Ibaka had 18 points, 14 rebounds, and seven blocks for the Thunder (46-18), who are battling San Antonio for the top seed in the Western Conference.
James Harden had 14 points off the bench in the first half for Oklahoma City but did not return after suffering a concussion in the final minutes of the first half after taking a flagrant elbow to the head from Metta World Peace, who was ejected.
The Lakers have one more regular season game left, and have three days off before that finale in Sacramento Thursday night against the Kings.
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