NBA: Los Angeles Lakers 86, Memphis 84

April 6, 2013 at 1:02 AM

LOS ANGELES, April 6 (UPI) -- Pau Gasol put Los Angeles in front for good with 1:36 remaining Friday and the Lakers survived down the stretch to defeat Memphis 86-84.

The critical victory kept the Lakers a half game in front of Utah for the final post-season berth in the Western Conference. Utah kept pressure on Los Angeles by defeating New Orleans earlier in the evening.

Gasol's layup gave the Lakers an 85-84 lead and the game's only other point came when Dwight Howard made the second of two free-throw attempts with 4.1 seconds to play.

Mike Conley then missed a driving layup in the final second that would have forced overtime, leaving the Lakers with their third straight win.

Kobe Bryant made only 10-of-23 shots, but scored 24 points to pace the Lakers. Gasol added 19.

Memphis got 21 points from Conley, but had a four-game winning streak halted.

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