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Bryant joins 30,000 club

Saturday, December 08, 2012

LOS ANGELES - Kobe Bryant scored 29 points to become the fifth player in NBA history to eclipse the 30,000 mark as the visiting Los Angeles Lakers beat the New Orleans Hornets 103-87 on Wednesday.

Needing 13 points for the milestone, Bryant hit a runner in the lane late in the first half to join the elite club and is the youngest to do so at 34 years, 104 days.

The "Black Mamba" joins Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain (31,419 points), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928) and Michael Jordan (32,292), four of whom played for the Lakers.

Dwight Howard powered for 18 points while Antawn Jamison added 15 for the Lakers (9-10), who trailed by one at halftime but outscored their hosts 56-39 in the decisive second half to improve to 2-5 on the road.

Ryan Anderson hit five threes en route to 31 points while Venezuela's Greivis Vasquez added 16 for the Hornets (5-12), who have dropped the last eight meetings in the all-time series.

New York Knicks star JR Smith deflected a pass at one end and then buried a step-back jumper from the left wing at the other to beat the buzzer, lifting his side to their fifth-straight victory 100-98 over the Charlotte Bobcats, who got a game-high 25 points from Kemba Walker.

Carmelo Anthony led the Atlantic Division-leading Knicks (13-4) with 23 points but suffered a laceration to the middle finger of his right shooting hand in the fourth quarter. Tyson Chandler had 18 with 17 rebounds while Smith scored 13.

Kevin Garnett had 18 points and 10 rebounds against his former team, and Rajon Rondo returned from a two-game league suspension with 17 points and 11 assists as the Boston Celtics beat the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves for the 11th-straight time 104-94 despite Kevin Love's 19 points and 13 rebounds.

Al Horford had 26 points with 12 rebounds, and Josh Smith added 16, 13 boards and a key three-point play with 31 seconds remaining as the Atlanta Hawks edged the visiting Denver Nuggets, who received a season-high 32 points from Ty Lawson.

The Los Angeles Clippers crushed the visiting Dallas Mavericks 112-90; the visiting Chicago Bulls beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 95-85; and the Utah Jazz dropped the visiting Orlando Magic 87-81.

The Golden State Warriors stopped the Detroit Pistons 104-97; the Indiana Pacers topped Portland Trail Blazers 99-92; and the Sacramento Kings trimmed the Toronto Raptors 107-100.

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