Published — Thursday 31 January 2013
Last update 30 January 2013 11:34 pm
LOS ANGELES: The Los Angeles Lakers hung on to beat the New Orleans Hornets 111-106 Tuesday for their first three-game winning streak in five weeks.
Dwight Howard scored 24 points, and Kobe Bryant had 14 points and 11 assists in another pass-first performance for Los Angeles.
Earl Clark had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers, whose 18-point lead with 5½ minutes to play dwindled to 102-101 with 2 minutes left before Clark and Steve Nash hit big shots to clinch Los Angeles’ ninth straight win over New Orleans.
Eric Gordon scored 18 of his 25 points in the first half for the Hornets.
Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge hit a turnaround jump shot at the final buzzer as the Trail Blazers came back from a 21-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Dallas Mavericks 106-104.
Aldridge finished with 29 points and 13 rebounds for the Trail, while J.J. Hickson had a season-high 26 points and 15 rebounds.
Dirk Nowitzki finished with 26 points for Dallas, which had won six of its last eight games.
At Auburn Hills, Michigan, Brandon Jennings scored 20 of his 30 points in the third quarter to lead the Milwaukee Bucks past the Detroit Bulls 117-90.
Rookie Andre Drummond had 18 points and 18 rebounds for Detroit, while Greg Monroe scored 14 points. Drummond became just the second teenager to have an 18-18 game since 1985-86, joining Dwight Howard.
Klay Thompson scored a career-high 32 points to lead short-handed Golden State Warriors past the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-95.
The Warriors were missing three starters — guard Stephen Curry (ankle), center Andrew Bogut (ankle) and forward Harrison Barnes (knee). Also, Carl Landry, one of the first players off Golden State’s bench, didn’t play because of a shoulder injury.
Tristan Thompson had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Cleveland.
After Wesley Matthews made two free throws to pull the Blazers to 101-98 with 52 seconds to go, Nicolas Batum’s 3-pointer tied the score.
Dirk Nowitzki answered with his own 3 with before Aldridge had a 3 to tie it at 104 with 4.9 seconds left. O.J. Mayo was called for charging with 1.5 seconds to go, and Aldridge hit his jumper after the inbound from Matthews with 0.2 seconds left for the victory.
Thompson hit 13-of-24 shots from the field, including a 6-of-8 showing from beyond the 3-point arc, as the Warriors won for the fifth time in seven games.
“We could have just laid down when we didn’t have four of our premier players but we had bench guys come in and do big things,” Thompson said. “It shows the depth of this team.”
At 28-17, the Warriors have not started so well so deep into an NBA season since the 1991-1992 campaign.
Mike Dunleavy had 17 points and Monta Ellis added 14 for the Bucks, who led by as much as 29 points.
The Pistons led by 15 points late in the first quarter, were outscored 78-40 over the next 25 minutes.
Meantime, a person with knowledge of the situation says the Cleveland Cavaliers are exploring the possibility of signing center Greg Oden, the former No. 1 overall pick whose NBA career has been sabotaged by injuries.
The Cavs are doing their due diligence while looking at Oden, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team's interest is contingent upon the center's health.
CBSSports.com first reported the Cavs and Miami Heat were pursuing Oden, who hasn't played since 2009.
Oden has undergone three major knee surgeries. While attending Ohio State's game against Wisconsin on Tuesday night Oden said he hopes to play next season.
The 7-footer was the first player taken in the 2007 draft by Portland. He has averaged 9.2 points and 7.3 rebounds in 82 career games.