On Saturday, Kobe Bryant moved past Wilt Chamberlain for fourth place on the NBA's all-time leading scorers list. But more importantly for the Los Angeles Lakers (38-36), they picked up a much-needed 103-98 win over the Sacramento Kings (27-47) to as they try to hold off the Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Lakers and Jazz are currently tied in the standings and Mavs trail both by 1.5 games. The Lakers had lost four of their last five games before the win over the Kings.
Bryant just missed a triple-double, finishing with 19 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds, although he didn't shoot the ball well, shooting just 5-of-18 from the field. Dwight Howard finished with 24 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks. Pau Gasol had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Utah Jazz 116, Brooklyn Nets 107
The Lakers were unable to gain any ground on the Jazz (38-36) in the standings after Utah beat Brooklyn (42-31). Randy Foye led the Jazz with 26 points and Mo Williams and Al Jefferson each scored 20. Brook Lopez had 27 points for the Nets and Deron Williams scored 21 against his former team.
Dallas Mavericks 100, Chicago Bulls 98
The Mavs (36-37), led by Dirk Nowitzki, stayed within striking distance of the Jazz and Lakers with a win over the Bulls (39-32). Nowitzki finished with 35 points on 14-of-17 shooting and seven rebounds. Brandan Wright and Vince Carter combined for 34 points off the bench. Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng each scored 25 for the Bulls.
Francisco Garcia, Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons each scored 15 points and Omer Asik had 13 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks to lead the Rockets (40-33) to the win despite the fact that they played without injured star James Harden. Chris Paul had 19 points and seven assists for the Clippers (49-25).
Kevin Durant had 30 points, Russell Westbrook had a triple-double with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists and Serge Ibaka blocked eight shots to lead the Thunder (54-20). Ersan Ilyasova had 29 points and 14 rebounds for the Bucks (35-37).
The Pacers (47-27) won their fourth-straight game to move a half-game ahead of the New York Knicks for second place in the Eastern Conference standings. Paul George scored 25 points and Roy Hibbert added 20 for Indiana. Goran Dragic had 21 points and nine assists for the Suns.
Marc Gasol had 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists and Mike Conley scored 19 points to lead the Grizzlies (49-24) to their second-straight win. Ricky Rubio had 23 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for Minnesota (26-46).
Stephen Curry scored 39 points and Carl Landry scored 25 points off the bench to lead the Warriors (42-32). Meyers Leonard had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Trail Blazers (33-40), who lost their fourth-straight game.
The Hawks (41-33) played without All-Star Al Horford, who was sick, but Ivan Johnson stepped in and scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Devin Harris scored 17 points for the Hawks. Beno Udrih led the Magic with 20 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.