Bucks 113, Lakers 103
Kobe Bryant used a crutch to leave the arena after Los Angeles' latest loss.
Following Los Angeles' loss to Milwaukee on Thursday night, the Lakers said Bryant had a bone spur in his left foot. He left the arena using one crutch, but appeared to be walking without any pain.
Bryant led the Lakers with 30 points, leaving him four points behind Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) for fourth place on the NBA's career list. He played 36½ minutes and didn't show any signs of difficulty during the game.
"Inflamed on me. I'll be all right," Bryant told Yahoo Sports.
The Lakers are eighth in the Western Conference, a half-game ahead of Utah for the final playoff spot.
Larry Sanders scored 13 of his career-high 21 points in the third quarter for the Bucks. He was 8 of 11 from the floor and had 13 rebounds.
Ersan Ilyasova and Brandon Jennings each had 20 points, Monta Ellis added 18, and Marquis Daniels had 16 to help the Bucks snap a four-game losing streak.
"Our attention to detail was a little bit better," coach Jim Boylan said. "Larry was great, really active. There was a lot of communicating going on. We've been struggling lately and when you struggle you can get into your own little world, and that's a bad place to be."
The Bucks hold the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and have a seven-game lead over ninth-place Philadelphia with 11 games to go. However, they weren't playing as a unit, the effort and energy level were sagging, until the game against the Lakers.
"You need to be playing a collective game, whether it be offensively or defensively," Boylan said. "Tonight, for us was maybe breaking out of that shell a little bit."
Sanders noticed the change, too.
"It's easy to kind of get in slumps and get that dark cloud over your head and stay there," he said. "But, we fought our way through tonight. It's good and showed a lot of character. You only lose when you stay down. You've got to get back up."
Dwight Howard had 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, and Steve Nash scored 16 points.
Howard said the Lakers needed to play better defense against the Bucks.
"We need to work together against these guys," he said. "We just didn't do that tonight. Defense needs to be a team effort each and every night."
Ellis scored eight points for Milwaukee during a late 12-3 run, making it 102-92 on a running in the lane. The Lakers turned it over on the next possession, and Daniels raced down the court and dunked to make it 104-92 with 4:12 left. The Lakers never got closer than eight the rest of the way.
Pacers 103, Mavericks 78
Paul George had 24 points and eight rebounds and Indiana broke open a close game in the third quarter to beat Dallas.
George scored 13 points in the third, including eight in a 20-5 run that broke a tie game at halftime.
The first-place Pacers won their fourth straight and have a half-game lead for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points for Dallas, which remained 1½ games behind the Los Angeles Lakers in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Kings 117, Suns 103
DeMarcus Cousins scored 17 consecutive points in the first half and finished with 34 in Sacramento's victory over Phoenix.
Cousins also had 14 rebounds while playing only the first three quarters. Isaiah Thomas added 23 points and eight assists to help the Kings win for only the second time in their past 14 games in Phoenix.
Sacramento, which has won six of its last 10, shot 53 percent from the floor and converted 22 of 24 free throws. Thomas and Cousins combined to go 17 of 17 from the line.
Luis Scola led the Suns with 25 points, P.J. Tucker had a career-high 18, and Michael Beasley added 14 points and eight rebounds. Phoenix, resting point guard Goran Dragic for the second straight game, has lost five straight, nine of 10 and 11 of their past 13.
Iverson will return to Philly for bobblehead night
Allen Iverson is making a return to Philadelphia.
Iverson has accepted the Philadelphia 76ers' invitation to return for his bobblehead night Saturday and will present the game ball before they play Charlotte.
Sixers CEO Adam Aron says Iverson rearranged his schedule to make the trip to Philadelphia. The Sixers will salute one of their greatest players with a video tribute.
Iverson led the Sixers to the 2001 NBA finals and is firmly cemented as one of the franchise's all-time greats. He is the franchise leader in 40-point games (76), 3-pointers (885), and is second behind Hal Greer in points (19,931). He had two stints with the Sixers and last played for them in 2009-10.
Aron says Iverson decided to return because "he loves his fans and he loves Philadelphia."
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