Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Martell Webster drilled three critical free throws with 3.1 seconds to play, and Portland's defense held off the Lakers' final attack in a 91-88 victory at Staples Center.
LaMarcus Aldridge paced Portland's attack with 24 points and 11 rebounds, as the Trail Blazers moved into a tie with idle San Antonio for seventh place in the Western Conference. Portland would win a tiebreaker with the Spurs by virtue of sweeping the season series.
Webster finished with 16 points in the Blazers' seventh win in nine games and first as the guest in this series since 2007. Andre Miller added 15 points and seven assists, while Marcus Camby had 10 points and 17 boards.
"It was definitely hostile out there," Webster said. "That's the kind of atmosphere that will be there in the playoffs. There's a good chance we might be playing these guys in the first round."
Pau Gasol had 23 points and 12 rebounds, but missed a potential game-tying three at the buzzer, as the Lakers lost for the third time in four games. Los Angeles, which has locked up the West's top spot, has only the second overall seed for which to play. Coupled with Orlando's win earlier Sunday, the Lakers now stand one game behind the Magic with two games to play.
The Blazers held an 86-81 lead after a Miller layup with 54.4 ticks to play, but Bryant came down and drained a 30-foot three-pointer, then made a finger roll layup and the ensuing free throw for an 87-86 Lakers lead with 31.5 seconds remaining.
Camby was able to help Portland forge back in front with 12.7 seconds left, following up an Aldridge miss with a put-back layup.
Bryant was then fouled far away from the basket, and, with the Blazers in the penalty, the Lakers star went to the line for two free throws. A career 83.8 percent free throw shooter, Bryant missed both, but Gasol got the rebound and passed back to Derek Fisher, who was also fouled. Fisher made only one to tie the game with 4.7 on the clock.
"I haven't been shooting free throws very well," Bryant said. "I'm trying to brush up on them, change it up a little bit, and get it right for the playoffs."
Webster then attempted a running shot from beyond the arc with 3.1 seconds left and was fouled by Fisher, giving him three shots. He made all three, and Gasol's attempt at the top of the arc bounced off the back rim.
The Lakers grabbed a 23-20 lead after one quarter, but Portland cut its deficit to 46-45 at halftime. Neither team led by more than six in a tight third quarter, and Los Angeles took a 71-69 advantage into the fourth quarter.
An Aldridge bucket with three minutes left gave the Blazers their largest lead at 84-77, but layups from Fisher and Gasol brought the Lakers to within three with just over a minute to play.
The Blazers had lost five straight and 14 of 16 on the road against the Lakers coming into Sunday's matchup...Portland won the season series, 2-1, and has not lost the season series to the Lakers since 2004-05...The Blazers are 16-4 with a starting lineup of Nicolas Batum, Aldridge, Camby, Brandon Roy and Miller. Roy had only two points before sitting out the second half with a sore knee...Portland is 15-4 in the second game of back-to-backs, including a 13-3 mark on the road...The Lakers posted only six turnovers, a season-low.