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Dec. 5, 2012 at 11:00 PM   |   Comments

Bryant reaches 30,000 career points in Lakers win

NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Kobe Bryant became the fifth NBA player to reach 30,000 points in a career Wednesday, scoring 29 in leading the Los Angeles Lakers past New Orleans 103-87.

Los Angeles held the Hornets scoreless for the first 4:48 of the second half to take control and ended a two-game skid.

Bryant began the game needing 13 points to get to 30,000 and join Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain as those who reached that plateau. Abdul-Jabbar is the league's all-time leading scorer with 38,387.

Bryant reached the 30,000 mark late in the first half and became the youngest player (34 years, 104 days) in NBA history to do so.

He hit 10-of-17 from the field and made 8-of-9 foul shots, finishing the night with 30,016 points. Dwight Howard added 18 for the Lakers and Antawn Jamison had 15.

New Orleans got 31 points and nine rebounds from Ryan Anderson

The Lakers will end a three-game road trip in Oklahoma City on Friday, play at home against Utah on Sunday and then go back on the road for four more.


Florida remains unbeaten with romp over rival

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Patric Young and Scottie Wilbekin combined for nine of Florida's 15 steals Wednesday and the No. 5 Gators breezed past Florida State 72-47.

Florida extended its unbeaten streak at the start of the season to seven games in an overwhelming defensive performance.

The Gators gave up just 16 field goals for the entire contest and limited the Seminoles to 34 percent shooting. Florida began the contest on a 12-2 run and owned a 20-point halftime lead.

Mike Rosario and Kenny Boynton both scored 14 points for Florida, which hit half its shots from the field. Young added 10 points. Florida State (4-4) was led by Michael Snaer with 10 points.

The Gators will now take nine days off before taking on unbeaten Arizona.


Sanchez to start Sunday for Jets

FLORHAM PARK, N.J., Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Mark Sanchez will remain the starting quarterback for the New York Jets in this week's game against Jacksonville, Jets Coach Rex Ryan said Wednesday.

Sanchez was pulled from last week's game and backup Greg McElroy led New York to the lone touchdown in a 7-6 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

The Jets are 2-4 in recent games and one of three 5-7 teams overall in the AFC East. New England (9-3) has already locked up the division title.

The Jets have struggled offensively this season. Sanchez has completed 55 percent of his passes for 2,436 yards, 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

He threw three interceptions in the first half of the Arizona game and completed 10-of-21 passes for 97 yards before McElroy took over.

Ryan earlier in the week said he was comfortable with any of his quarterbacks as starters.

In addition to Sanchez and McElroy, the Jets have Tim Tebow on their roster. Tebow was inactive against Arizona because of a rib injury. His availability for Sunday's game at Jacksonville is to be determined.


Vikings put Harvin on injured reserve list

MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin has been idled for the rest of the season due to an injured ankle, the team said Wednesday.

Harvin was placed on injured reserve after sitting on the sidelines since he severely sprained the ankle during a Nov. 4 loss to Seattle.

The 24-year-old was leading the NFL with 62 receptions at the time of the injury. He also sported a league-best kickoff-return average of 35.9 yards.

Harvin, in his fourth NFL season, ends 2012 with 677 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

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