Pacers edge Lakers despite Kobe’s 40 points

Cesar Tordesillas – 4E Sports Contributor

Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – The Indiana Pacers withstood Kobe Bryant’s 40-point performance and the Lakers’ last-minute rally for a 79-77 victory Tuesday night.

George Hill scored the winning shot with a high-arching layup over Dwight Howard leaving 0.1 seconds left.

Hill totaled 19 points for the Pacers, who won their third straight road game over the Lakers after losing 11 consecutive regular-season games since Staples Center opened in 1999.

David West scored 16 points and Paul George had 12 for Indiana.

Kobe Bryant produced the 114th 40-point game of his career despite playing with an apparent case of the flu for the Lakers.

He outscored the rest of the team.

The Pacers’ sturdy defense stifled the Lakers’ up-tempo offense for most of the night, turning the game into an ugly grind before the thrilling finish.

The Pacers jumped to an early lead and hung on to it despite falling into a 1-for-23 shooting slump in the first half. The Lakers couldn’t take advantage, missing 14 of their 18 shots in the second quarter.

The Lakers flirted with the lowest-scoring game and worst shooting percentage in franchise history before scoring eight straight points in the waning minutes, tying it at 74 on Howard’s dunk with 1:56 to play. After West made one free throw, Hill made a running shot and Bryant hit a 3-pointer for another tie.

The Pacers wound down the clock for Hill, who beat Pau Gasol off the dribble and arched his shot over the leaping Howard.

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