Pau returns, then Lakers lose to Wiz

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 23, 2013
Trevor Ariza hit a career-high seven 3-pointers on his way to 25 points, John Wall added 24 points and the Washington Wizards rallied from an 18-point second-half deficit to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 103-100 on Friday night. Wall had 16 assists, and Nene scored 15 points for the Wizards, who won their second straight while improving to 7-26 on the road. Down 2 points, Kobe Bryant missed a short open jumper with 5 seconds to go and Metta World Peace fouled Wall, who made both free throws. After a timeout, Bryant's 3-pointer drew the Lakers to 101-100 with 2 seconds left. But Bryant fouled Wall with 1 second to go, and he again made both. The Lakers got the ball to Bryant one last time, and he launched a 3-point attempt from the right sideline that missed as time expired. Bryant finished with 21 points and 11 assists after missing two games with a sprained left ankle. Dwight Howard added 20 points and 15 rebounds, and Jodie Meeks had 16 points off the bench as the Lakers' seven-game home winning streak ended. Pau Gasol had four points and eight rebounds playing limited minutes after missing more than six weeks with a right foot injury. The starting lineup of Bryant, Howard, Gasol, World Peace and Steve Nash fell to 0-6 this season. After struggling with injuries, the Lakers are fielding a near-healthy roster with 12 games to play as they fight for a playoff berth. The Wizards' rally that began in the third quarter continued in the fourth, with Ariza's 3-pointer tying the game and his driving layup providing their first lead, 81-79, with 8:52 left. Bryant scored 10 of the Lakers' first 12 points, with his reverse dunk putting them back in front, 86-83. Meeks hit a 3-pointer off an unlikely assist from World Peace, who missed, grabbed his own rebound and barely kept his balance to stay inbounds before firing to Meeks in the right corner for an 89-86 lead. Ariza's sixth and seventh 3-pointers twice restored the Wizards' lead to two points. Washington outscored the Lakers 31-17 in the third to close to 74-72. The Wizards ended on an 11-2 run, with Wall and Ariza scoring all their points. Bryant scored just four points and had a turnover as time expired. The Lakers took a 57-41 halftime lead on the strength of an opening quarter in which they shot 68 percent and led by 16 points. The Wizards played them to a 22-22 tie in the second period despite shooting 36 percent. NOTES: Lakers F Antawn Jamison sprained his right wrist and was to have an X-ray after the game. He had 11 points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes. ... The Lakers split the season series and fell to 10-3 all-time against the Wizards at Staples Center.
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