KOBE BRYANT scored 29 points, making him the fifth player in NBA history to score 30,000, and the Los Angeles Lakers snapped a two-game skid with a 103-87 victory over the Hornets in New Orleans on Wednesday night.
Bryant entered the game needing only 13 points to eclipse the scoring milestone and did so with a short jumper late in the first half that was perhaps the least spectacular of his baskets, which included the usual array of soaring dunks, demoralizing transition three-pointers and turnaround, off-balance jumpers.
Dwight Howard added 18 points for the Lakers, who trailed by a point at halftime but seized control with a 13-0 run to open the third quarter, and the lead grew as large as 20.
The Hornets' Ryan Anderson scored 31, hitting five of eight three-pointers. Greivis Vasquez added 16 points.
In other games *
At Charlotte, J.R. Smith hit a fallaway jumper from the left wing as time expired to give the New York Knicks a 100-98 victory over the Bobcats. Carmelo Anthony scored 20 of his 23 points in the first half, but wasn't on the floor for the final 2:10 after injuring his left hand diving into the team's bench for a loose ball.
* At Indianapolis, Paul George scored 22 points to help the Indiana Pacers beat the Portland Trail Blazers, 99-92. George Hill added 18 points and David West had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who have won four of five.
* At Boston, Kevin Garnett scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and remained unbeaten against his former team as the Celtics beat the Minnesota Timberwolves, 104-94, in Rajon Rondo's return from a two-game suspension.
* At Auburn Hills, Mich., Klay Thompson scored 19 of his 27 points in the third quarter, and the Golden State Warriors pulled away to beat the Detroit Pistons, 104-97. The Warriors, starting a seven-game road trip against the Eastern Conference, snapped Detroit's five-game winning streak at home.
* At Atlanta, Al Horford had 25 points and 12 boards while Josh Smith added 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Hawks, who held off the Denver Nuggets, 108-104.
* At Cleveland, Marco Belinelli scored 23 points and Joakim Noah had 13 points and 15 rebounds as the Chicago Bulls topped the Cavaliers, 95-85. Belinelli was starting his second straight game in place of injured guard Richard Hamilton. The Cavaliers have lost 13 of 15 and are 2-7 since point guard Kyrie Irving broke his left index finger last month.
* At San Antonio, Tony Parker and Gary Neal each scored 22 points, and the Spurs had a season-high 53 rebounds in a 110-99 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Tim Duncan added 17 points and 10 rebounds for San Antonio (15-4). Tiago Splitter had 15 points, Manu Ginobili scored 11 and Matt Bonner had a season-high 12 rebounds.
* At Salt Lake City, Al Jefferson scored a season-high 31 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the Utah Jazz to an 87-81 victory over the Orlando Magic.
Jefferson got hurt while corralling his final rebound. He went down clutching his back with 1:29 left and had to be helped off the court in obvious pain. Team officials said he had back spasms.
Brooklyn Nets forward Gerald Wallace has been fined $5,000 by the NBA for flopping, joining teammate Reggie Evans as the only repeat offenders under the league's new penalty system. The league also gave Clippers veteran Chauncey Billups a warning Wednesday for falling backward after launching a jumper against Utah with little or no contact.
Wallace was defending a driving LeBron James on Saturday in Miami when he went tumbling backward after James put his right hand on Wallace's body while dribbling with his left.