NEW ORLEANS (AP) Kobe Bryant scored 27 points, hitting three pivotal 3-pointers in the last six-plus minutes, and the Los Angeles Lakers won their second straight, 99-96 over the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night.
Bryant, who scored a season-high 38 points at Minnesota two nights earlier, held his follow-through as his final 3 went through with a minute left to put the Lakers up 98-92, then wagged his index finger as if to say, ''Don't doubt me,'' as he jogged back up court with a good portion of the crowd cheering wildly.
Bryant missed a free throw with 6 seconds left that allowed the Pelicans a chance to tie the game with a 3, but Jrue Holiday's shot missed the rim.
Anthony Davis scored 39 for the Pelicans, but his missed breakaway dunk in the fourth quarter seemed to define the night for New Orleans, which lost its third straight.
PISTONS 111, KNICKS 105
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) – Anthony Tolliver and Reggie Jackson made a trio of big 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter, and the Detroit Pistons avoided a colossal collapse, beating the New York Knicks.
The Knicks rallied from a 27-point second-quarter deficit, taking a 97-95 lead on a layup by Robin Lopez. Tolliver's 3-pointer put the Pistons back ahead, and Jackson added another to make it 101-97. After a dunk by Lopez cut the margin back to two, Jackson added another 3-pointer, and the Pistons were able to hold on.
Jackson finished with 21 points, and Stanley Johnson added 22 and nine rebounds. Andre Drummond had 17 points and 13 rebounds for Detroit.
Lopez had 26 points and 16 rebounds for New York, which lost for the seventh time in eight games.
ROCKETS 111, SUNS 105
PHOENIX (AP) – Corey Brewer scored 24 points and Trevor Ariza 22 to lead the Houston Rockets past the Phoenix Suns.
The Rockets won despite a 4-for-19 shooting night by James Harden, who finished with 17 points, more than 10 under his average. Dwight Howard grabbed 16 rebounds in the 200th meeting between the teams.
Archie Goodwin led the Suns with 22 points, while Alex Len added 12 with a career-high 18 rebounds and Devin Booker had 17 points as Phoenix lost its sixth straight.
RAPTORS 110, TRAIL BLAZERS 103
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Kyle Lowry had 30 points, DeMar DeRozan added 29 and the Toronto Raptors snapped Portland's five-game winning streak.
Damian Lillard had 27 points and 11 assists, while CJ McCollum added 21 points for Portland in the matchup between two of the league's dynamic backcourts.
The Raptors, who have lost only one of their last 14 games, extended their lead to 94-81 on Lowry's 3 with 6:52 left in the game. Toronto made 12 of 19 3-point attempts in the game, with Lowry scoring seven of them to match his season high.
Lillard hit a jumper and Allen Crabbe made a pair free throws to pull Portland within 106-101 with 55.3 seconds left, but McCollum missed a 12-foot jumper and Toronto hit free throws to end the threat.