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Kobe Scores 40, Lakers Hold Off Blazers 111-107

Kobe Bryant scored 40 points, Dwight Howard had 19 points and 16 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers capped a trying week with a gritty 111-107 victory over the slumping Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.

Hours after longtime Lakers owner Jerry Buss was buried, and a day after a moving memorial service punctuated by eulogies from Bryant and other franchise greats, the team got back to basketball with a much-needed victory at Staples Center.

Bryant scored 11 points in the final 5? minutes and the Lakers won for the seventh time in 10 games. They remained ninth in the Western Conference playoff race, 3? games behind Houston for the final spot with 26 remaining. Portland trails Los Angeles by 1? games.

Source: Associated Press



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