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Lakers remain hot; Hughes' 40 lift Cavs

The Baltimore Sun

Kobe Bryant scored 31 points, Pau Gasol added 26 and the new-look Los Angeles Lakers continued their impressive road trip with a 106-97 win over the reeling Charlotte Bobcats last night.

The Lakers improved to 4-1 since acquiring Gasol, and Bryant scored at least 30 points in his third straight game.

In improving to 6-2 on their nine-game trip, the Lakers never trailed but struggled to put away the Bobcats. Charlotte cut a 13-point deficit to 89-86 midway through the fourth quarter before wilting in their seventh straight loss.

Raymond Felton scored 29 points for the Bobcats, who matched their longest skid of the season.

Cavaliers 118, Magic 111 -- Larry Hughes scored a season-high 40 points and LeBron James added 29 as visiting Cleveland beat Orlando. Hughes scored 23 in the third quarter. Hedo Turkoglu scored 25 points for Orlando, leading all five starters in double figures, and Dwight Howard had 16 points and nine rebounds.

76ers 84, Mavericks 76 -- Andre Miller scored 21 points to lead host Philadelphia. The 76ers moved a half-game behind the Nets for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Josh Howard led Dallas with 17 points before leaving in the fourth quarter with a back injury.

Spurs 93, Raptors 88 -- Manu Ginobili scored a season-high 34 points and added a career-high 15 rebounds, leading San Antonio to a victory over host Toronto. Raptors coach Sam Mitchell flew home to Atlanta after the death of his father-in-law. He's not expected back until after the All-Star break.

Rockets 95, Trail Blazers 83 -- Yao Ming had 25 points and seven rebounds as host Houston won its seventh straight. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 22 to lead Portland, which has lost four of its past five.

Clippers 96, Bucks 89 -- Al Thornton scored 25 points and Sam Cassell (Dunbar) added 21 as visiting Los Angeles beat Milwaukee. Maurice Williams scored 31 points for the Bucks.

DIGITS

10

Fourth-quarter points scored by the Mavericks last night. They scored 23 in the second half, missing 13 straight shots.

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