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.
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Derek Stepan's goal in the sixth round of a shootout lifted the New York Rangers past the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Stepan beat Mike Smith high to the glove side before Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist stopped Coyotes captain Shane Doan to secure the win.
The Rangers, who won for the 10th time in 11 games, improved to 27-9-4 for an NHL-high 58 points and their best start since 1993-94, when they won the Stanley Cup. New York won its fifth straight overall and improved to 13-3-2 at home.
TAMPA, Fla. - Mason Raymond used some fancy stickhandling to help Vancouver overcome a blown lead.
Raymond scored the lone goal in the shootout on a spinning backhander and the Canucks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4 on Tuesday night.
"It's a trick, if you want to say, or a move you have in your bag, but it's not used that often," Raymond said. "It's maybe a high-risk one, but maybe also high reward."
BOSTON - There's nothing like a tying goal eight seconds into the third period to shake a team out of a two-period slumber.
Nathan Horton's second goal of the game keyed Boston's three-goal third period as the Bruins beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-3 Tuesday night in game that saw both teams attempt penalty shots.
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.
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The Ottawa Senators are on such a roll that even one of their most spectacular goals of the season was met with little more than a shoulder shrug.
Milan Michalek scored twice and Jason Spezza undressed Pittsburgh goalie Brent Johnson on a brilliant deke as the Senators thumped the slumping Penguins 5-1 on Tuesday night.
Chris Neil and Bobby Butler also scored for the Senators, while Craig Anderson stopped 29 shots as Ottawa won for the sixth time in seven games.
LONDON - Canada's men's gymnastic team narrowly missed out on a berth in the 2012 London Olympics.
Needing to finish in the top four of the eight teams competing in the 02 Arena, Canada wound up fifth by 0.5 points on Tuesday.
The British men won the final qualifying meet, blowing away its rivals with a commanding score of 358.227 in front of its own fans in southeast London.