NBA Scores And More: Kobe Bryant Shares In Lakers Win, LaMarcus Aldridge Crushes Spurs

Kobe had 11 assists, but the Lakers' defense remains a problem in an overtime win over the Rockets. In other action, the Spurs take a rare loss as LaMarcus Aldridge blows up.

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Rockets Vs. Lakers: Kobe Bryant Altruistic In L.A.'s Overtime Win Against Houston

When Kobe Bryant tallies zero assists en route to an L.A. Lakers loss, the proletariat screeches. That's what happened on Sunday, when the Boston Celtics embarrassed the Lakers at Staples Center; Kobe had 41 points and a nary a set-up. Kobe typically then tries to make an example of the squealing whiners by overpassing in his next game, deferring to his teammates to a fault.

The problem with this diabolical plan is that Kobe's teammates are really freaking good, and when he defers to them the Lakers' offense typically looks better. That was the case Tuesday night, as L.A. scorched to a 114-106 overtime win against the Houston Rockets. Kobe had 32 points and 11 assists in the victory. Four of the assists were to Pau Gasol, and another four went to Lamar Odom, starting in place of dinged-up Andrew Bynum.

Of course, the Lakers still have problems defensively, and that was exacerbated by Bynum's absence. Kevin Martin, for example, scored 30 points on 8-15 shooting, and Luis Scola racked up 24 points and 15 rebounds. Houston had 16 offensive rebounds, and while L.A. had 16 of their own, defensive rebounding remains a concern for the Lakers.

But Bryant's 11 assists in a win will carry the largest biggest, only amplifying those calls of "selfish!" and "jerkwad!" when Kobe goes on shooting binges in Laker losses.


Spurs Vs. Blazers: LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Upset San Antonio In Potential Playoff Preview

The Portland Trail Blazers without Brandon Roy or Marcus Camby aren't supposed to beat a team as wonderful as the San Antonio Spurs -- heck, nobody's supposed to beat the San Antonio Spurs. But LaMarcus Aldridge racked up 40 points as the Blazers stunned the league-best Spurs in Portland 99-86.

The game was tight throughout -- neither team led by more than nine heading into tied fourth quarter. On the one hand, entering the fourth tied with the Spurs gives you a puncher's chance at scoring a win. On the other hand, the Spurs have consistently won close games all season, which couldn't have made the Blazers confident.

But Aldridge couldn't miss in the final period, scoring 13 points on 5-5 shooting. Co-star Wesley Matthews scored 11 more (4-7), and Manu Ginobili shot just 1-5. Tony Parker and Tim Duncan entered the game five minutes into the quarter, and the Blazers almost immediately pulled away en route to a double-digit win.

The Spurs are now 40-8, one game in their annual Rodeo Trip. The end of the workweek features a back-to-back against the Lakers and Kings, followed by a jaunt back to the Great Lakes region for games against the Pistons and Raptors. On paper, it's not a tough schedule beyond the Lakers. But anything can happen in the NBA. Perhaps most worrisome to the Spurs is that Portland has a strong shot to be San Antonio's first-round match-up this spring. S.A. didn't show an ability to stop Aldridge on Tuesday night, and one player can absolutely change a series in April and May.


Celtics Vs. Kings: Ray Allen, Boston Defense Close Out Sacramento

The Sacramento Kings made it a game, darnit, but the Boston Celtics survived at ARCO Arena 95-90 on Tuesday. Ray Allen scored 22 points on 9-15 shooting, and hit 4-7 three-pointers to move to within nine of Reggie Miller atop the career leaderboard for makes.

The Kings had just beat the L.A. Lakers and New Orleans Hornets back-to-back, and had a (rare) packed house for the C's. Sacramento stayed tight with the reigning Eastern Conference champs for the entire game, with Boston's lead never reaching more than 10 points. The Kings led for much of the second and third quarters; Sacramento dominated the second period 34-18, with reserve Donte Greene scoring an unexpected 13. But the C's turned it around by the midpoint of the third, and won that quarter 29-17, then held off the Kings' charge late.

DeMarcus Cousins had his third straight 20-point game, and got his points on 7-14 shooting while adding six rebounds. He thoroughly outplayed Shaquille O'Neal, who scored just three points in 15 minutes. Tyreke Evans scored 20 too, but he and Beno Udrih were shredded by Allen and Rajon Rondo (17 points, 10 rebounds).


Wizards Vs. Hornets: Jason Smith Humbles Andray Blatche, Washington Now 0-25 On Road

Jason Smith led the New Orleans Hornets with 20 points in 25 minutes in replacing injured Emeka Okafor in the starting lineup as the Washington Wizards lost their 25th straight road game this season 97-89 in the Crescent City. The Hornets ended a two-game losing streak with the win.

Smith matched up with Andray Blatche, who finished with 21 but was thoroughly outplayed by the completely unheralded Smith early in the game as New Orleans built its lead. Smith scored 10 points in the first quarter on 5-5 shooting, and added five more (on 2-2 shooting) in about 3-1/2 minutes in the second. Blatche had eight points on 4-8 shooting in the first half, but his defense was obviously problematic. The Hornets had an 11-point halftime lead, and never looked back.

Who is Smith, you ask? Great question! He was one of those quasi-heralded big white men who produced well at Colorado State, but slide down the draft board due to, well, having played at Colorado State, having high stiff potential and being neither a true power forward or center. He tore his ACL before his rookie season, and never caught on with the Sixers before being included in the Willie Green Trade early this year. But New Orleans is thin up front, and Smith polished his golden opportunity like the jewel it is.

The Wizards are closing in on the worst road record to start a season (0-29), and are two-thirds of the way to the worst single-season road losing streak of all-time (37).

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