NBA: Kobe’s passing fancy sparks Lakers over Thunder

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08:20 AM January 28th, 2013

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January 28th, 2013 08:20 AM

Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder attempts a layup in front of Kobe Bryant #24 Metta World Peace #15 and Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a 106-95 Laker win at Staples Center on January 27, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty Images/AFP

LOS ANGELES – Kobe Bryant has been making more passes than shots lately and the results have been impressive for the Los Angeles Lakers, who toppled Oklahoma City from the NBA’s best record on Sunday.

Bryant scored 21 points, shooting 8-of-12, and added 14 assists and nine rebounds to spark the Lakers over the Thunder 105-96. Bryant also had 14 assists for the Lakers on Friday in a victory over Utah.

The Lakers, who have struggled most of the season with injuries and blending talented newcomers to holdover players, improved to 19-25 while the Thunder fell to 34-11, stumbling behind San Antonio (36-11) for the overall NBA lead.

Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash scored 17 points while Spanish big man Pau Gasol added 16 in a reserve role and Metta World Peace scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Dwight Howard spent much of the game in foul trouble and finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.

NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant netted a game-high 35 points while Russell Westbrook contributed 17 points with 13 assists. Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins each added 10 points in a losing cause.

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