ATLANTA (AP) – Kobe Bryant scored 28 points as the Los Angeles Lakers won for only the second time this season, beating the Atlanta Hawks 114-109 in the NBA on Tuesday.
Bryant’s biggest shot came with 1:11 remaining, when he backed in against Thabo Sefolosha and made a fadeaway jumper despite being fouled. Bryant completed the three-point play, giving the Lakers a 108-102 lead.
“Man, oh man, that’s a lot better,” Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin said. “It’s been a rough start to the season.”
The Hawks had a chance to force overtime after the Lakers (2-9) failed to put it away at the line. But Los Angeles smothered long-range threat Kyle Korver, leaving Pero Antic to take an open 3-pointer. It clanked off the rim and the Lakers grabbed the loose ball to seal the victory.
In other games, Milwaukee topped the struggling New York Knicks 117-113, Utah beat Oklahoma City 98-81 and New Orleans defeated Sacramento 106-100.
Milwaukee’s Ersan Ilyasova had 20 points as the rebuilding Bucks improved to 6-5 on the season – the first time in more than a year the team has had a winning record.
New York cut a 26-point deficit to 115-113 with 7.9 seconds left, but Milwaukee managed to hold on.
Zaza Pachulia added season highs of 14 points and 13 rebounds for Milwaukee, while Carmelo Anthony had 26 points for the Knicks.
In Salt Lake City, Alec Burks had 20 points and a career-high 14 rebounds and Enes Kanter added 16 points and 15 boards for Utah, which enjoyed a 55-44 edge on the glass.
Playing without the injured Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City has lost three straight and seven of nine. Jeremy Lamb led the Thunder with 19 points.
New Orleans’ Anthony Davis had 28 points and nine rebounds to lead the Pelicans past the Kings in a matchup between two of the Western Conference’s most surprising teams this season.
Ryan Anderson scored 22 points for the Pelicans, who outscored the Kings 31-15 in the third and improved to 6-4 on the year.
DeMarcus Cousins had 24 points and 17 rebounds for Sacramento.