NBA roundup: Minus Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers get Sun-burned by Phoenix

By Cliff Brunt

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, April 8 2012 12:06 a.m. MDT

Indiana Pacers guard Paul George, blocks the shot from behind Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Saturday, April 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Associated Press

PHOENIX — Shannon Brown scored 20 of his 24 points in the third quarter Saturday night, leading the Phoenix Suns to a 125-105 victory over a Los Angeles Lakers team playing without Kobe Bryant for the first time in two seasons.

An injured left shin ended Bryant's string of 138 consecutive regular-season games played. The NBA's leading scorer watched the Suns reserves dominate the second quarter, then Brown go off against his former team in the third. Michael Redd scored 17 of his 20 points in the second quarter for the Suns in their highest-scoring game of the season.

Pau Gasol had 30 points and 13 rebounds, and Andrew Bynum added 23 points and 18 boards for the Lakers.

CELTICS 86, PACERS 72: At Indianapolis, Paul Pierce scored 24 points to help Boston beat Indiana. Ray Allen added 19 points, Kevin Garnett scored 15 and Rajon Rondo had 12 assists for the Celtics, who snapped a two-game skid and remained ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers at the top of the Atlantic Division. Danny Granger scored 20 points, David West had 16 and Roy Hibbert added nine points and 17 rebounds for Indiana.

HAWKS 116, BOBCATS 96: At Charlotte, N.C., Joe Johnson scored 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting, and eight Atlanta players scored in double digits in an easy victory over Charlotte.

GRIZZLIES 94, MAVERICKS 89: At Memphis, Tenn., Rudy Gay scored 25 points, Zach Randolph added 15 points and 11 rebounds, and the Grizzlies built a big early lead and held on to beat Dallas.

BUCKS 116, TRAIL BLAZERS 94: At Milwaukee, Beno Udrih scored a season-high 21 points, Brandon Jennings also had 21, and the Bucks beat Portland to tighten the race for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

Milwaukee moved within a half-game of idle New York with its fourth straight victory, and the Bucks are .500 (28-28) for the first time since they were 2-2 on Jan. 2.

MAGIC 88, 76ERS 82: At Philadelphia, Dwight Howard had 20 points and 22 rebounds, and Glen Davis had 23 points and 12 rebounds to help Orlando snap a five-game losing streak.

HORNETS 99, TIMBERWOLVES 90: At New Orleans, Jason Smith had a career-high 26 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Hornets. Smith made his first eight shots and finished 12-for-16. Chris Kaman added 21 points on 9-for-10 shooting. Kevin Love had 29 points and 12 rebounds for Minnesota.

CLIPPERS 109, KINGS 94: At Los Angeles, Blake Griffin had 27 points and 14 rebounds, Randy Foye scored 25 points while hitting seven 3-pointers, and the surging L.A. Clippers moved within a half-game of the Pacific Division lead. Chris Paul had 19 points and 15 assists in the Clippers' eighth win in nine games.

WARRIORS 112, NUGGETS 97: At Oakland, Calif., David Lee had 17 points and nine rebounds, and Golden State put a dent in Denver's playoff hopes. Denver could have moved into the sixth spot in the Western Conference with a win, but instead dropped into the No. 8 seed, a half-game behind Houston and Dallas.

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