Lakers 106, Blazers 101 (OT)

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Lakers rallied from an 87-79 deficit in the final four minutes tonight to force overtime and then edged away from the Portland Trail Blazers in OT. It was their 40th victory of the season, but also perhaps a turning point in their season. Sometimes these things turn on a small victory. The Lakers got a big one tonight at the Rose Garden.

“We don’t really get too hyped over teams,” Lamar Odom said. “But our record hasn’t been good up here over the last couple of years, so it was fun to win. It’s experience. We just gave ourselves a chance to win by getting stops. We’ve been in games like this before.”

Kobe Bryant scored 37 points, grabbed nine rebounds and added six assists. Ron Artest had a season-high 24 points on 8-for-13 shooting. Pau Gasol scored 18 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Odom had 13 points in a reserve role.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 29 points for Portland, none after the start the fourth quarter. He missed three key layups in the closing minutes, including one at the regulation buzzer, which could have won the game for the Trail Blazers.

Next: the Clippers on Friday at Staples Center.

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