MINNEAPOLIS - Kobe Bryant scored 48 points — his fifth straight game with 25 or more — and the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Phoenix Suns 99-83 Tuesday night to win their seventh straight at home and third in a row overall.
Bryant, the NBA's leading scorer, topped the 40-point mark for the first time this season, the first in the league to do so. He was 18 of 31 from the floor and made 12 of 13 free throws. Pau Gasol added 16 points and 12 rebounds.
WASHINGTON - The Washington Wizards won a game for the first time in nearly nine months, and did it with a reshaping of their front line.
Coach Flip Saunders decided to bench forwards Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis. He started rookie Chris Singleton and second-year player Trevor Booker in their place, and the revamped team beat the Toronto Raptors 93-78 on Tuesday night for its first victory after eight losses this season.