MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan for third place on the NBA scoring list and had 10 points in the final five minutes to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 100-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.
Bryant needed nine points to move past Jordan and, after missing four of his first five shots, he knocked down a pair of free throws with 5:24 to play in the first half to join Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone on the NBA’s career scoring podium.
Bryant finished with 26 points on 7-for-20 shooting and hit a 3-pointer with just over a minute to play that helped seal the victory.
Shabazz Muhammad had 28 points and nine rebounds for the Timberwolves.
Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook had 28 points, eight assists and eight rebounds, and Kevin Durant added 23 points and eight rebounds as the Thunder won their sixth straight game, beating the Phoenix Suns 112-88.
Westbrook recorded his eighth straight game of scoring at least 20 points, and getting five rebounds and five assists since his return from a broken hand. By halftime, he had 24, five rebounds and six assists. He narrowly missed getting his ninth career triple-double.
With the win, Oklahoma City – which started the season 3-12 – moved within a half-game of eighth place in the Western Conference.
At New Orleans, Stephen Curry scored eight of his 34 points in overtime as the Golden State Warriors won their 16th straight by beating the Pelicans 128-122.
Klay Thompson added 29 points for the Warriors, whose franchise-long winning streak includes a club-record 10 straight road victories.
Tyreke Evans scored 34 points for the Pelicans, but fouled out with three minutes left in overtime.
The Washington Wizards downed the Utah Jazz 93-84 after John Wall had 16 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
Wall also had five steals and three blocks, Bradley Beal scored 22 points, and Paul Pierce added 15 for the Wizards, who nearly succumbed to a letdown game after their big win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.
Chicago’s Mike Dunleavy scored 22 points as the Bulls overcame a sloppy start to beat the offensively inept Miami Heat 93-75, while Kawhi Leonard scored 18 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs over the Denver Nuggets 99-91.