Bryant scores 47 as Lakers bash Blazers

Kobe Bryant scored a season-high 47 points as the Los Angeles Lakers pulled closer to a playoff berth with a 113-106 NBA victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.

The Lakers moved a game ahead of the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Portland, missing the playoffs for the second straight season, has lost nine straight games, the most since an 11-game skid in the 2005-06 season. Rookie Damian Lillard led the Blazers with a career-high 38 points.

Pau Gasol had 23 points, seven rebounds and nine assists, while Dwight Howard added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers. Bryant was 18 of 18 from the free throw line. Other NBA results: Detroit 111, Cleveland 104; Atlanta 124, Philadelphia 101; Orlando 113, Milwaukee 103, OT; Miami 103, Washington 98; Brooklyn 101, Boston 93; Phoenix 102, Dallas 91; Sacramento 121, New Orleans 110; LA Clippers 111, Minnesota 95; Denver 96, San Antonio 86.

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