LOS ANGELES (AP) — Las piezas del rompecabezas que forman la extraña temporada de los Lakers al parecer empiezan a caer poco a poco en su lugar.

Kobe Bryant armó una remontada en la segunda mitad del partido para que Los Angeles venciera el martes 100-94 a los Knicks de Nueva York, con lo que los Lakers extendieron a cinco su racha de victorias y se colocaron en .500 de porcentaje.

"Estamos en .500", dijo sonriendo Dwight Howard. "Y además lo logramos en Navidad. Sabía que este día llegaría".

Bryant anotó 34 puntos en su 15to partido en Navidad, un record de la NBA, y Metta World Peace sumó otros 20 tantos y siete rebotes además de marcar a Carmelo Anthony, que encabezó la lista de anotadores de los Knicks con 34 unidades. Anthony dijo que se lesionó la rodilla izquierda, aunque espera jugar el miércoles en Phoenix.

Bryant, líder anotador de la liga, ha conseguido 30 o más puntos en nueve partidos consecutivos.

"Si uno va a jugar en Navidad, siempre es mejor ganar. Hace que valga la pena", dijo Bryant, que pronto volaría a Denver para llegar ahí antes que los Nuggets, que jugaron contra los Clippers en el segundo partido de una doble cartelera en el Staples Center.

Los Lakers se colocaron 14-14 —de los cuales 9-9 han sido bajo la tutela de Mike D'Antoni— y mejoraron su foja de días festivos a 21-18, incluyendo 13-9 en casa. Volvieron a colocarse en .500 por primera ocasión desde que iban 8-8 el 30 de noviembre.

"Es muy pronto en la campaña todavía", dijo Bryant. "Tenemos a todos en la alineación y estamos empezando a ver cómo queremos jugar".

Los Knicks controlaron buena parte del partido por medio de Anthony y J.R. Smith, que acumuló 24 tantos. Sin embargo, pasaron problemas a la ofensiva en el cuarto período, cuando Anthony fue limitado a siete puntos y Smith aportó sólo cinco, ya que la defensa de los Lakers tomó medidas drásticas. World Peace salió por acumulación de faltas cuando quedaban 1:58 minutos en el reloj y los Lakers ganaban por cuatro.

World Peace dijo que su defensiva en contra de Anthony fue "basquetbol de la vieja escuela".

"Estoy otra vez en forma y es un poco difícil cubrirme", dijo.

Por su parte, Steve Nash apuntó que "eso es lo que ha estado haciendo todo el año. Pone sus manos en muchas pelotas, marca con fuerza al mejor jugador del otro equipo. Uno no puede ganar sin ese tipo de esfuerzo".

En tanto, en Miami, LeBron James y Kevin Durant se hicieron de palabras, Dwyane Wade y Serge Ibaka se dieron empellones, hubo cinco faltas técnicas y Russell Westbrook golpeó una mesa en señal de frustración.

Esta repetición de la final de la NBA de la temporada pasada cumplió con las expectativas.

Y como aquella serie, acabó con la balanza inclinándose a favor de Miami.

James finalizó con 29 puntos, nueve asistencias y ocho rebotes, mientras que Wade anotó otros 21, con lo que el Heat sobrevivió a un final frenético para vencer el martes 103-97 al Thunder de Oklahoma City.

"Se sintió un poco como un mes distinto", dijo el entrenador de Miami, Erik Spoelstra. "Sin importar cuál sea el plan de juego, cuando uno enfrenta a este equipo, no se puede apegar a lo planeado. Son demasiado buenos".

Pero esta noche, así como en junio pasado, el Heat fue mejor.

Mario Chalmers anotó 20 tantos para el Heat, una marca personal en la temporada, con lo que Miami igualó el mejor inicio del equipo en los primeros 25 partidos de una campaña con foja de 19-6. Chris Bosh aportó 16 para Miami, que ha vencido al Thunder cinco veces consecutivas desde la serie por el título en junio pasado.

Durant anotó 33 tantos y Westbrook otros 21 para Oklahoma City, pero ambos astros del Thunder fallaron triples que representaban el posible empate en los segundos finales. El congoleño-español Serge Ibaka y Kevin Martin aportaron 15 puntos cada uno para el Thunder, que ha perdido dos en fila por primera ocasión en la temporada.

El Heat anotó 19 de 19 desde la línea de tiros libres, el segundo mejor récord en esta estadística en la historia del equipo. Logró anotar 30 de 30 ante Boston el 14 de marzo de 1993.

En otros partidos del día, los Celtics de Boston apalearon 93-76 a los Nets de Brooklyn, los Rockets de Houston 120-97 a los Bulls de Chicago y los Clippers de los Angeles 112-100 a los Nuggets de Denver.

_____

El periodista Tim Reynolds de The Associated Press contribuyó con este despacho desde Miami.

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  • Thabo Sefolosha (L) of the Oklahoma City Thunder defends against Kobe Bryant (R) of the Los Angeles Lakers on January 11, 2013 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Serge Ibaka (L) of the Oklahoma City Thunder is defended by Kobe Bryant (R) of the Los Angeles Lakers on January 11, 2013 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

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