Lakers out shine Warriors

, Last Updated: 3:05 AM ET

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Kobe Bryant knew he would need a clear head to overcome his clogged sinuses. So while everybody else butted heads, he calmly rose to another historic performance of the NBA's best one-man show.

Bryant became the youngest player to score 16,000 points, finishing with 42 in the Los Angeles Lakers' 106-94 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.

Chris Mihm added 16 points, but Bryant's stellar play with a sinus infection was just about the only beautiful thing in the Lakers' third straight victory over the Warriors. Bryant scored 40 points for the 16th time this season while conserving his energy and playing with thoughtful caution.

"I've played sick before," Bryant said, recalling his 2002 playoff performance against the Sacramento Kings after apparently getting food poisoning from a room-service cheeseburger. "I've played sicker than this. It's kind of old hat for me. You've just got to use your energy more wisely, play a more cerebral game. You have to pick your spots."

Bryant's spots were all over the floor against the Warriors, even though he was on medication he wouldn't name "because they'll put me in the BALCO investigation," he joked.

With a jumper late in the first quarter, the NBA's leading scorer this season got his 16,000th career point at 27 years and 192 days old -- four days earlier than Wilt Chamberlain, who reached the mark in 1964.

"He started when he was 17," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said of Bryant. "It's great, but it's not the stuff I care about. It's something he'll look back on some day and say, 'That's remarkable."'

Bryant also scored nine straight points for the Lakers in the final 5 minutes, including seven after Golden State trimmed a 21-point deficit to nine on Baron Davis' three-pointer with 3:08 to play.

Los Angeles avoided falling below .500 for the first time in two months, delighting the large contingent of Lakers fans among the Golden State franchise-record crowd of 20,375 at the sold-out Arena.

Jason Richardson scored 27 for the Warriors, who lost for the fifth time in six games since the All-Star break to match the worst stretch of their once-promising season. Golden State still is in the playoff chase, but wasted its latest chance to cut its deficit behind the eighth-place Lakers to 21/2 games.

"They've got the eighth spot that we want," Richardson said. "The frustration is (Bryant) is a great player. He came in and led his team to the victory."

Davis returned to the Warriors' lineup in limited action after missing the last seven games with a sprained right ankle. He had 10 points and five rebounds after tweaking his ankle again in the first half, but played even less defence than usual in 26 minutes off the bench.

"If you don't outwork your opponent, you're not going to win," Davis said. "And tonight, we got outworked, we got bullied, we got pushed, and we didn't push back until it was too late."

The choppy, sloppy game was as ugly as the welt on Mike Dunleavy's head after a collision with Brian Cook, who appeared to head-butt the Golden State forward in the third quarter. A few seconds later, Mihm's tender right shoulder was hit hard by a Warriors defender, sending Mihm to the bench with a grimace.

The Lakers shot 42 free throws, including 18 by Bryant -- and referee Bennie Adams called five technical fouls, including three on the Warriors in 31/2 minutes of the second quarter. Adams also ejected Lakers guard Smush Parker with 9:44 to play.

Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher had to be separated by teammates with 2.1 seconds to play after Odom committed a hard foul -- his sixth -- on Fisher. The pair exchanged words again after the buzzer, but after the game Odom claimed "nothing" happened.


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