Kobe Bryant scored 40 points, Pau Gasol added 26 and the Los Angeles Lakers found themselves rallying for the second straight game against one of the West's worst teams, beating the Golden State Warriors 120-112 on Sunday night.
Ramon Sessions added 23 points in his best game since being traded to the Lakers two weeks ago. Gasol and reserve Troy Murphy had 11 rebounds each after All-Star center Andrew Bynum sprained his left ankle in the first quarter of the Lakers' eighth consecutive home win against the Warriors.
Bynum landed awkwardly on the foot of teammate Josh McRoberts and the team said he had a moderate sprain. He had no points and three rebounds when he left for good with 1:49 to play. The team said X-rays were negative and he would be re-evaluated on Monday. Bynum was coming off a productive month of March, when he averaged 22.2 points and 10.9 rebounds in 17 games.
David Lee led six Warriors in double figures with 27 points. Klay Thompson added 18, Nate Robinson 17, and Richard Jefferson 16 for Golden State, which lost its fifth in a row and 10th in the last 12.
The Warriors were down 13 points to start the fourth quarter, but outscored the Lakers 19-8 to close within one with Bryant on the bench for part of the run. Jefferson, Robinson and Thompson all had 3-pointers in the spurt with 7 minutes to play.
The Lakers gained some breathing room on a 12-3 run, as Sessions, Bryant and Gasol combined for all the scoring, capped by Bryant's 3 that made it 109-99.
The Warriors weren't done yet. Robinson, who at 5-foot-9 was the shortest player in the game, hit his fifth 3-pointer to get the Warriors within five. Lee's three-point play cut the deficit to three points before Bryant hit a long 3 from in front of the Warriors' bench, making it 115-109 with 1:40 to play.
Jefferson answered with a 3 and Golden State was down three. Metta World Peace hit a 3 — the 10th of the quarter between the teams — on the Lakers' next possession for a 118-112 lead. After a timeout, Thompson missed a 3 with 1:03 to go, cooling off the long-range shootout.
The Lakers' biggest lead in the first half was nine points, with 12 lead changes and eight ties. Bryant got off to a quick start, unlike in Saturday's game when he missed his first 15 shots against New Orleans. He scored 13 points in the opening quarter and 4 in the second when he sat for six minutes.
NOTES: It was Bryant's 112th career game with at least 40 points. The Lakers improved to 77-35 in those games. ... The Warriors' next road win will equal their 10 victories away from home last season. ... They haven't beaten the Lakers at Staples Center since March 23, 2008. ... The Warriors signed C Mickell Gladness, playing on a 10-day contract, for the rest of the season. He was not with the team Sunday because of family matters, but is expected to rejoin the Warriors in a few days. Gladness has averaged 2.0 points and 1.3 rebounds in six games. "He's an athletic, big guy who can block shots and finish at the rim," coach Mark Jackson said. ... The Lakers played the second of their first home back-to-back set of games since the lockout shortened 1998-99 season. ... Jackson turned 47 on Sunday and spent the day with his wife and four kids at their Los Angeles home before going to work.