LOS ANGELES - Jordan Farmar scored a career-high 24 points, Kobe Bryant added 21 and the Los Angeles Lakers extended their winning streak to a season-best 10 games Thursday night with a 106-88 victory over the Miami Heat.
The Lakers (41-17) maintained their one-game lead over the defending champion San Antonio Spurs for best record in the Western Conference, and lead Phoenix and New Orleans by two. Just 6 1/2 games separate the top nine teams in the West.
The double-digit winning streak is the 23rd in Lakers' franchise history and 19th in Los Angeles — including an NBA-record 33-game run during the 1971-72 championship season, when Miami coach Pat Riley was playing for them.
The Heat, which ended an 11-game skid with a 107-86 win over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday at Miami, absorbed their 27th loss in 29 games. They are a league-worst 10-45, just two seasons after winning their first NBA title.
Dwyane Wade had 18 points for Miami after playing 13 scoreless minutes during a foul-plagued first half.
Bryant blocked an attempted layup by Shawn Marion in the final seconds of the third quarter, then turned toward the first-row seats across from the Lakers bench and wagged his index finger like Dikembe Mutombo.
Lakers forward Ronny Turiaf blocked two layups by Dorell Wright 2 minutes apart early in the fourth, but was called for fouls both times. He got up again and swatted away an attempted layup by Marcus Banks, triggering a fast-break that resulted in a 3-pointer by Farmar that gave the Lakers an 81-64 lead with 9:06 to play.
Miami got as close as 95-86 with 2:39 remaining on a four-point play by Wade, who was fouled by Bryant on a shot behind the arc and converted the free throw. But Lamar Odom helped seal it for the Lakers with a 21-footer and a 3-pointer in the final 1:25.
Bryant needs 37 points to pass Walt Bellamy (20,941) for 25th place on the career scoring list.
The Lakers, one win away from matching last season's total, are 11-1 since obtaining Gasol from Memphis. Miami is 1-8 since trading Shaquille O'Neal to Phoenix.
Notes:@ Riley and Phil Jackson have won a combined 14 NBA titles as head coaches — seven of them with the Lakers. Riley is second in postseason wins, eight behind Jackson's 179. ... Riley's Lakers faced Jackson's Knicks in the NBA Finals three times in a four-year span during the early 1970s, with the Lakers beating New York in '72 for their first championship in L.A., and the Knicks winning both of theirs at the Lakers' expense. "Knowing him as a player at that time, I would never have assumed that Pat would turn out to be the kind of coach he is. And I'm sure he would say the same thing about me," said Jackson, who developed a kinship with Riley during a Players' Association function in Acapulco in 1973. "We were drafted at the same time and both had back operations early in our careers — spinal fusions — so we had a lot of things in common. We had a repartee that went on, and we were pretty comfortable around each other." ... The Lakers own the NBA record with a 33-game winning streak during the 1971-72 championship season, when Riley was playing for them.