MIAMI — Dwyane Wade had 27 points and 14 assists, Quentin Richardson scored a season-high 25 and the Miami Heat found a way to overcome a huge effort by Kobe Bryant to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 114-111 in overtime Thursday night.
Carlos Arroyo scored 17 points, Jermaine O'Neal scored 13 and Udonis Haslem had 12 for Miami, which won the NBA's most wildly back-and-forth game all season — with a season-high 31 lead changes.
Bryant scored 39 points, including the overtime-forcing jumper for the Lakers, who got 14 points from Derek Fisher and 13 points from Lamar Odom.
O'Neal had the defensive play of the night with 18.7 seconds left in overtime, drawing his team-leading 19th charge of the season — on Bryant, no less, who drove the left side of the lane looking to tie the game.
Instead, Arroyo made two free throws 0.3 seconds later, and Miami held on for the victory.
Haslem finished with 11 rebounds for the Heat. Andrew Bynum scored 12 points for the Lakers, who got 10 apiece from Ron Artest and Pau Gasol.
Miami led by nine with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation, and still held a 92-84 edge when Wade hit a 3-pointer with 3:40 remaining. The defending champion Lakers weren't bothered by it.
They answered with a 9-2 run, capped by Fisher's 3-pointer from the left corner with 1:56 left in regulation, and from there turned almost exclusively to Bryant. He made two free throws in the final minute to give Los Angeles a 97-96 lead, and after Richardson put Miami up 99-97 with his seventh 3-pointer of the night with 11.1 seconds remaining, the stage was Bryant's.
Naturally, Bryant delivered, just as he did with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat Miami at Staples Center earlier this season.
He drove right on Wade, pulled up and coolly made a jumper with 3.3 seconds left. And when Wade couldn't get a good look at the buzzer, to overtime it went, knotted at 99.
It was tied five more times in the extra session, and Haslem's jumper with 37.3 seconds left put Miami up 111-109.
From there, Miami found a way.
Now at 31-31, the Heat moved 1 1/2 games clear of the Charlotte Bobcats in the race for the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race and within 1 1/2 games of the Toronto Raptors for the No. 5 spot.
With the Lakers in town and a marquee matchup like Wade vs. Bryant, the seats were predictably filled by some star power, including Jason Taylor, Albert Pujols, Timbaland, Scottie Pippen, Bryant McKinnie and Will Allen. … The game began a stretch where the Lakers will play 11 of 14 on the road. … Retired Heat trainer Ron Culp was back for the game. … Richardson's 11 points in the third quarter eclipsed his total from 36 full games this season.