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Bryant Turns Back The Clock; Scores Season-High 31 In Lakers Win

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kobe Bryant scored 12 of his season-high 31 points in the fourth quarter of his final game in Washington to help the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Wizards 108-104 on Wednesday night.

Julius Randle had 15 points and a career-best 19 rebounds for the Lakers (3-15), who snapped a seven-game losing streak. Jordan Clarkson added 18 points as Los Angeles finished a stretch of four games in five days.

Bryant played 36 minutes in his second game since announcing his plans to retire after this season, his 20th in the NBA. He left the Verizon Center floor to thunderous applause from what remained from a crowd of 20,356, Washington's third sellout of the season.

The night before, Bryant opened the first leg of his farewell tour in his hometown of Philadelphia, where the Lakers lost to the previously winless 76ers. Bryant played nearly 32 minutes and scored 20 points on 7-of-26 shooting.

John Wall had 34 points and had 11 assists for Washington, which lost a day after beating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road.

Marcin Gortat added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards, who have dropped four of five despite erasing an early 19-point deficit.

Bryant started 5 for 9 from the floor. Then he missed his next six shots before regaining his rhythm in the fourth quarter, each made shot drawing a louder roar from an even mix of Wizards and Lakers fans.

His 3-pointer over Gortat from the right wing made it 101-99 with just under a minute to play.

Gortat answered with a layup off Wall's feed, but Bryant's pull-up jumper over a badly fooled Bradley Beal made it 103-101 with 30.8 seconds remaining.

Wall at one point scored 12 straight fourth-quarter points for Washington, but on the next possession his errant pass was stolen by Lou Williams.

The Lakers hit five of their last six free throws to preserve the victory.


Midway through the first quarter, the Wizards honored Bryant with a message on the video board that read: "Thank you for an amazing 20 years." Bryant raised his right arm as the crowd gave one of several loud ovations.


Lakers: "It seems like every day our world is getting crazier, for whatever reason. Life is not as precious to some people as it is for others. For us in general, being LA's team, and myself in general, living in California, this is crazy." — Los Angeles coach Byron Scott on Wednesday's mass shooting in San Bernadino, California.

Wizards: "It was awful. . He still gives me nightmares. But it's a pleasure to say that I was there every step of the way watching this kid grow into who he is today." — Wizards coach Randy Wittman on preparing to face Bryant as a head or assistant coach throughout his stellar career.


Lakers: Improved to 1-2 during a six-game stretch against Eastern Conference opponents. ... Scored 22 points on 12 first-half turnovers. . G Nick Young did not play for the first time this season.

Wizards: C Nene (calf) missed his third consecutive game but G Gary Neal (groin) returned after missing two.


Lakers: At the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.

Wizards: Host the Phoenix Suns on Friday.

(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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