LOS ANGELES, March 10 (UPI) -- Kobe Bryant's 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds Sunday helped put the Los Angeles Lakers in playoff contention with a 90-81 win over Chicago.
Dwight Howard contributed 16 points and 21 boards for Los Angeles, which used its 16th win in 22 games to bypass Utah and move into the eighth and final Western Conference playoff slot by a half-game.
Steve Nash scored seven points during a 16-3 Lakers surge in the third period that clinched the triumph.
The Bulls, meanwhile, fell for the third time in four contests despite 18 points and 17 rebounds from Joakim Noah.
Nate Robinson had 19 points and eight assists for Chicago.