Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (L) drives on Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, California March 4, 2012. [Photo\Agencies]
Kobe Bryant came back from a broken nose to score a game-high 33 points as the Los Angeles Lakers beat Miami Heat 93-83 in an emotion-charged victory at the Staples Center on Sunday.
Bryant, who suffered the injury and concussion in a hard foul laid by Miami's Dwyane Wade during last weekend's All Star Game, made an early statement with 18 points in the first quarter and added six straight late in the fourth when the visitors threatened.
LeBron James recorded 25 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists to lead Miami who trailed for most of the night but pulled within six with a little over a minute to go.
Prior to the contest, both teams claimed there would be no carryover from the All Star Game incident but emotions ran high. James and Pau Gasol were given technical fouls for a minor dustup at the end of the third quarter.
Wade was booed roundly by the passionate crowd and he struggled to seven-of-17 shooting for 16 points. He was fouled out with a little more than five minutes left, prompting the Staples Center to mock him with a standing ovation.