Kobe Bryant fueled a desperate rally with 23 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the New Orleans Hornets 104-96 on Tuesday night to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
Pau Gasol had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Dwight Howard added 19 points to help the Lakers tie Utah for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff berth. The Jazz lost to Oklahoma City 90-80 earlier in the evening, but they hold the tiebreaker over the Lakers, who have four regular-season games left.
Eric Gordon scored 22 points, making 10 of 11 free throws, before fouling out in the final seconds to lead five Hornets in double figures. Anthony Davis added 18 points and 14 rebounds, Ryan Anderson had 14 points, and Greivis Vasquez had 11 points and 11 assists.
Metta World Peace returned for the Lakers less than two weeks after undergoing left knee surgery and had four points in 15 minutes as they won their third in a row at home.
Bryant put on his usual show in the four...