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NBA: Bryant Leads Lakers to Win Over Celtics


Kobe Bryant scored 43 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 111-98 win over the Boston Celtics Wednesday in the National Basketball Association.

Bryant returned to the Lakers' lineup after serving one game suspension for striking Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs during a game on Sunday.

Boston has now tied a franchise-record 13 consecutive games, which was set in the 1996-97 season.

Meanwhile, the Detroit Pistons enjoyed 113-89 rout of the New Jersey Nets. Detroit's Richard Hamilton led the way with 24 points, while the team set a new franchise record by making 27 consecutive free throws.

Orlando, Toronto, Charlotte, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Utah, Portland and the Los Angeles Clippers were also on the list of winners.

The Orlando Magic beat the Milwaukee Bucks 98-73, snapping a three-game losing streak. Toronto's Chris Bosh scored 34 points to lead the Raptors to a 119-109 win over the Washington Wizards. The Charlotte Bobcats trounced the New York Knicks 104-87, as Gerald Wallace scored 17 of his career-high 42 points in the fourth quarter.

The Atlanta Hawks routed the Golden State Warriors 115-94. The Philadelphia 76ers downed the Charlotte Hornets 89-78. The Sacramento Kings edged the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-98.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 26 points to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 95-94 victory. The Houston Rockets downed the Seattle Super Sonics 112-102, as Houston's Tracy McGrady and Seattle's Ray Allen each scored 36 points. The Utah Jazz beat the San Antonio Spurs 97-93.

The Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Denver Nuggets 100-91, and Elton Brand scored 26 points to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 110-98 win over the Chicago Bulls.

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