Kobe Bryant wasn’t feeling well. It showed.
Mike Bibby scored 21 points – including an improbable 3 off the top of the backboard – and the Atlanta Hawks took advantage of a tough game for Bryant, beating Los Angeles 86-76 on Sunday in Atlanta to knock the Lakers two games behind Cleveland in the race for the NBA’s best overall record.
The Lakers had won five straight, locking up the top seed in the Western Conference, but an ailing Bryant had just 17 points on 7-of-19 shooting.
•Cavs break record: LeBron James scored 24 points with 12 assists while orchestrating Cleveland’s show on and off the floor as the Cavs made more history with a 102-74 win over the Dallas Mavericks in Cleveland, leading the NBA with 60 wins while extending their winning streak to a franchise-record 12 straight.
•Six for seven without Garnett: Paul Pierce had 27 points and Eddie House scored 14 of his 16 in the second half to lead the Boston Celtics to a 103-84 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder at Boston.
The Celtics won for the sixth time in seven games despite missing All-Star forward Kevin Garnett, who sat out for 15th time in 19 games to rest a strained right knee.
•Paul clutch for Hornets: Chris Paul scored 26 points, hitting three free throws with 7.1 seconds left, assisting the depleted New Orleans Hornets, who pulled out a 90-86 victory over the San Antonio Spurs at New Orleans.
First gold for Chodounsky
David Chodounsky sped past veteran Jimmy Cochran in the second run of the slalom to win gold in the U.S. alpine ski championships at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska.
World Cup overall champion Lindsey Vonn won the women’s slalom, edging Sarah Schleper and Julia Mancuso.
Chodounsky won his first national title in challenging conditions.
Six inches of new snow fell overnight, covering a layer of ash spewed by Mount Redoubt. The ash – tiny ground rock that can damage lungs – reached Mount Alyeska just after the men’s downhill races Saturday as winners were mounting a podium to accept medals.
The women’s giant slalom is scheduled for today.
Blues continue streak
Patrik Berglund had a goal and two assists and the St. Louis Blues moved a step closer to a playoff spot with a 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Columbus, Ohio.
The Blues have won five in a row and earned points in seven of eight.
The game pitted two of the hottest teams in the NHL – the Blue Jackets were 7-1-2 over their last 10 games, the Blues 7-2-1 – in a game that both desperately needed to win. Columbus is sixth in the West with 86 points, two points ahead of Nashville and three in front of St. Louis.
•Third straight for Bruins: Tim Thomas made 45 saves for his career-high 32nd win, Milan Lucic scored two goals and the visiting Boston Bruins held off the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 for their third straight victory.
Dennis Wideman and Mark Recchi also scored, David Krejci added three assists, and Zdeno Chara had two assists for the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins.
Stampede kills 22
A stampede at a World Cup qualifying soccer match between Ivory Coast and Malawi at Abidjan in the Ivory Coast killed at least 22 people and wounded 132, according to Interior Minister Desire Tagro.
Fans at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny arena pushed against each other shortly before the game between Ivory Coast and Malawi, setting off a panic that led to the stampede,
Younger Curry joins Duke
Seth Curry, the younger brother of Davidson star Stephen Curry, is joining Coach K and the Blue Devils.
Curry’s father Dell told the Associated Press that his son will transfer to Duke next season.
Seth Curry, the Big South freshman of the year at Liberty, will sit out next season and have three seasons of eligibility remaining.
•Big Unit on pace: Randy Johnson, preparing for his first season with San Francisco Giants, threw 80 pitches in a minor league camp game in Scottsdale, Ariz., giving up seven hits and two runs.
•France dominates track: Gregory Bauge of France beat Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia to capture the men’s individual sprint title and pick up the final gold medal on the closing day of the track world championships in Pruszkow, Poland.
Teammate Kevin Sireau won bronze in the individual sprint. The French beat rival Britain for the team sprint title earlier in the week.
•Menendez wins third Bassmasters: Mark Menendez won the Bassmasters Elite Series event on Lake Dardanelle at Russellville, Ark., holding off a charge by four-time angler of the year Kevin VanDam.
Menendez accumulated 55 pounds, 7 ounces and earned $100,000 for his third win of the season.
•Oxford’s beats Cambridge: Oxford’s heaviest ever crew won the university boat race against Cambridge for its fourth victory in five years.
It was Oxford’s 75th victory in 155 runnings of the rowing classic on the River Thames in London.
The Oxford crew weighed an average 220 pounds, 3 pounds more per man than the 2005 record.
•Final two in Frozen Four: Jason Lawrence scored a power-play goal with 14.4 seconds left, and Boston University advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four hockey tournament for the first time in 12 years, beating New Hampshire 2-1 in the Northeast Regional final at Manchester, N.H.
Bemidji State defeated Cornell 4-1 at the Midwest Regional in Grand Rapids, Mich., to advance.
•New style a first at PBA: Australia’s Jason Belmonte became the first two-hand style player to win a PBA Tour title, beating top qualifier Michael Fagan 215-201 in The Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic at West Babylon, N.Y.