MILWAUKEE (AP) — Kobe Bryant hit a 15-footer as time expired and scored the game’s final seven points over the last 1:18 of overtime to lift the Los Angeles Lakers to a 107-106 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.
Bryant, who had 27 of his 39 points in the second half and overtime, missed a shot from nearly the same spot from the left elbow that would’ve won it at the buzzer to end regulation.
Given a second chance, he backed down Charlie Bell again and drained the jumper to start the celebration.
Pau Gasol had 26 points and a career-high 22 rebounds for the Lakers (20-4), who tied Boston for the best record in the NBA with their 13th win in the last 14 games.
Bryant, who scored 42 points in a win over Chicago on Tuesday night, was again sharp when it counted despite a broken right index finger that’s been hampering his ball handling and follow through. He went 13 of 28 from the field and hit all 12 of his free-throw attempts.
Reserve Michael Redd had 25 points and Ersan Ilyasova added a career-high 24, but the Bucks lost their fourth straight in the series with the Lakers and are 3-14 in the last 17 meetings.
This one was painful.
Milwaukee took a 106-100 lead in overtime after Redd hit a 3 and Luke Ridnour added a 15-footer.
Bryant hit a jumper and after Ilyasova missed two free throws, the Lakers star added a three-point play by plowing into Andrew Bogut, who had 16 points and 12 rebounds, to make it 106-105 with 48 seconds left.
Both Ridnour and Redd missed shots for the Bucks, and Ron Artest grabbed a rebound with 5.4 seconds left. After a timeout, Lamar Odom inbounded the ball to Bryant, who hit the game-winner.
Gasol has 78 rebounds in his last four games, including three 20-rebound performances. His 78 boards is the NBA’s best mark in a four-game span since Marcus Camby had 79 during a stretch that ended in January last season, according to STATS, LLC.
Milwaukee trailed 74-71 heading into the fourth, but took an 85-80 lead midway through the quarter. The Lakers failed to tie it until Gasol’s three-point play and Bryant’s turnaround fallaway evened it at 93 with 2:11 left.
The game tightened considerably from there, with both teams missing chances to take the lead until Derek Fisher hit a 17-footer.
Bogut then drew a foul on Gasol and made the basket with 21 seconds left, but missed a free throw that would’ve given Milwaukee a lead. Bryant was isolated on Bell, but missed a contested 16-footer to send the game into overtime.
NOTES: Artest and Odom got technical fouls in the game, both for arguing calls. … The Lakers didn’t spend much time in Milwaukee. They took a bus to the Bradley Center after spending Tuesday night in Chicago and flew out after the game to New York. Los Angeles plays the Nets on Saturday. … Artest said after shootaround that Tiger Woods "still is" a role model for him and his children. Artest wrote a post on his blog that was an open letter to the superstar golfer to encourage him.