Miami 105-93 Chicago
New York 90-80 Indiana
Philadelphia 91-77 Cleveland
Toronto 93-87 Brooklyn
Denver 118-109 Portland
New Orleans 89-107 Dallas
Houston 121-100 Sacramento
LOS ANGELES. An empty chair sat in front of Kobe Bryant’s locker Sunday night, and the Los Angeles Lakers realized they would have to fill it together.
With their playoff hopes likely on the line against powerful San Antonio, the Lakers cobbled together a group effort that kept them in the hunt.
Dwight Howard had 26 points and 17 rebounds, and the Lakers staged a dramatic rally in the fourth quarter to win their first game since losing Bryant for the season, beating the Spurs 91-86 Sunday night to stay in playoff position.
Steve Blake scored 23 points for the Lakers (44-37), who lead Utah (42-38) by 1 1/2 games for the eighth postseason spot in the Western Conference after their seventh win in eight games - even with Bryant watching from home following surgery on his torn Achilles tendon.
Los Angeles only needs one more win or one Utah loss to clinch its 16th playoff berth in Bryant’s career. The Jazz visit Minnesota on Monday before finishing the season against Memphis, while the Lakers have the next two days off before their finale at home against Houston.
Duncan had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs, who have lost six straight road games. San Antonio (58-22) is likely to finish second in the West behind Oklahoma City (59-21), which holds the tiebreaker.
Kobe-less Lakers edge Spurs, hold on to eighth