A remarkable comeback in their latest contest showed how serious the Los Angeles Lakers appear to be about making a push for the playoffs.
Trying again to move above .500 for the first time since November, the Lakers hope to continue their home success over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night while trying for a season-high fifth straight victory at Staples Center.
Trailing by as many as 25 points, Kobe Bryant scored 13 of his 42 during a 20-0 run over the final 6:22 to help Los Angeles (31-31) win 108-102 at New Orleans on Wednesday. It was the Lakers' 14th win in 20 games and a strong indication that they're poised to leave the previous turmoil of the season in the past and move back into playoff position.
Los Angeles, which was last above .500 at 6-5 on Nov. 20, is 1 1/2 games behind Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
"This game brought us closer together as a team,'' said Dwight Howard, who had 20 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks, includi...