What Happened Last Night: Lakers Inch Closer To Playoffs, Heat Keep Rolling

  • Joe Levine

Another busy night in the NBA with 24 teams in action as the season begins to wind down and teams start to jockey for playoff position. There are several ongoing storylines in the league right now, but let’s be real – you only really care about two teams: the Lakers and the Heat.

Let’s get into it.

Lakers down Raptors in overtime thanks to amazing performance by Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant had 41 points, 12 assists, six rebounds, and hit clutch shot after clutch shot to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a huge 118-116 overtime win over the Toronto Raptors. Dwight Howard added 24 points and 12 rebounds and Steve Nash had 22 points in the victory. DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 28 points.

Los Angeles trailed by as many as 15, but just as in their comeback victory over New Orleans on Wednesday, Bryant carried the Lakers on his back to force overtime by hitting three huge three-pointers in the final 1:45 of regulation. Kobe put an exclamation point on his evening by splitting the entire Raptors defense for a furious two-handed flush with just 10 seconds left in overtime to give the Lakers the lead and eventually the win.

L.A. is now just half a game out of the eighth seed in the West behind the Utah Jazz.

Take a look at the full Lakers-Raptors highlights via ESPN:

Miami doesn’t need a full night from LeBron to extend their win streak to 17

Despite actually trailing at halftime, the Miami Heat came roaring back in the second half against the Philadelphia 76ers to pull out a 102-93 victory without LeBron James playing the final eight minutes of the game.

LeBron still paced the Heat with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists, but it was the Heat bench, led by Ray Allen and Shane Battier, that brought home the win and extended Miami’s winning streak to 17. Thaddeus Young led Philadelphia with 25 points in a losing effort.

Watch as the Heat add another win over the Sixers via ESPN:

All statistics via ESPN.com