With the game tied at 87 and 1:30 left, Steve Nash set up Dwight Howard for a layup and Howard completed a three-point play after being fouled to help the Los Angeles Lakers (35-32) beat the Indiana Pacers (40-25), 99-93, on Friday.
Seconds later, Nash set up Antawn Jamison for a three-pointer to put the Lakers up two possessions in a game in which both teams struggled shooting the ball. The Lakers shot just 42 percent for the game while the Pacers shot 37 percent. Nash finished with 15 points and nine assists, Howard had 20 points and 12 rebounds, Metta World Peace scored 19 points and, from the bench, Steve Blake scored 18 and Jamison 17.
Despite the balanced contributions, the story for the Lakers heading into the game centered on a player who score a point and only played 12 minutes. Despite suffering an ankle injury Wednesday that was supposed to keep him out indefinitely, Kobe Bryant started for the Lakers and played the first quarter, missing all four of his shot attempts. Bryant, who was noticeably hobbled, left the game and didn't return.