Straining to work out the kinks in an offense coach Mike D'Antoni compared to dancing with two left feet, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers even struggled to put away the Washington Wizards.
A night after joking about wanting to face the Washington Generals, the Harlem Globetrotters’ longtime foils, Bryant scored 30 points, and reserve Jodie Meeks added 24, helping the visiting Lakers beat the Wizards, 102-96, Friday night to end a four-game losing streak.
Slowed by foul trouble, Dwight Howard finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds, and the Lakers improved to 10-14.
Cartier Martin scored a season-high 21 points for Washington, which fell to an NBA-worst 3-17.
But the Wizards led by as many 9 points in the first half and, after trailing by as many 16 in the second, closed to 92-89 on Nene’s free throws with 5½ minutes left .
Los Angeles pulled away from there, despite D'Antoni’s less-than-flattering description before the game.
‘‘Every good offense is a rhythm, and our rhythm is offbeat right now,’’ D'Antoni said. ‘‘It’s like we've got two left shoes, trying to dance.’’
Thunder 113, Kings 103 — Kevin Durant scored 31 points, Serge Ibaka added 18 points and 11 rebounds, and host Oklahoma City won its 10th straight win.
It’s the franchise’s longest winning streak since 1996, when it won 11 in a row as the Seattle SuperSonics. The Kings didn’t go away easily, closing to 103-98 after trailing by as many as 24 in the fourth quarter. Isaiah Thomas scored all 26 of his points in the final 13½ minutes. He had four 3-pointers, a layup and a jumper during a 23-4 comeback attempt by Sacramento.
Timberwolves 113, Hornets 102 — Nikola Pekovic scored a season-high 31 points, Andrei Kirilenko had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and visiting Minnesota won its third straight game.
Pekovic was 14 of 18 from the field, scoring almost exclusively inside where Minnesota finished with a whopping 70-42 scoring advantage despite an off night for Kevin Love, who made only 4 of 18 shots.
Raptors 95, Mavericks, 74 — Linas Kleiza scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, rookie Terrence Ross had 18 points and host Toronto beat Dallas, snapping a six-game losing streak.
Pacers 95, 76ers 85 — Paul George scored 28 points and Roy Hibbert contributed 19 points, 13 rebounds and three assists, his best all-around game of the season, to lead host Indiana.
Suns 94, Jazz 88 — Jared Dudley had a season-high 22 points to help lift host Phoenix over Utah.
Nuggets 99, Grizzlies 94 — Andre Miller scored all of his 18 points in the second half, including four free throws in the final 10.2 seconds, and Denver edged visiting Memphis.
Bucks 90, Cavaliers 86 — Monta Ellis scored a season-high 33 points, Brandon Jennings added 16, and Milwaukee won in Cleveland.
Magic 99, Warriors 85 — J.J. Redick had 16 points and Nikola Vucevic added 12 points and 17 rebounds to help host Orlando hold off Golden State.
Nets 107, Pistons 105 — Joe Johnson made a jumper from just inside the arc as time expired in the second overtime, giving Brooklyn the victory over visiting Detroit.