The Wizards’ rally that began in the third quarter continued in the fourth, with Ariza’s 3-pointer tying the game and his driving layup providing their first lead, 81-79, with 8:52 left.
Bryant scored 10 of the Lakers‘ first 12 points, with his reverse dunk putting them back in front, 86-83. Meeks hit a 3-pointer off an unlikely assist from World Peace, who missed, grabbed his own rebound and barely kept his balance to stay inbounds before firing to Meeks in the right corner for an 89-86 lead.
Ariza’s sixth and seventh 3-pointers twice restored the Wizards’ lead to two points.
“We didn’t get down on ourselves,” he said. “We kept fighting even when we were down early. We just came out, stuck to our game plan and executed.”
Washington outscored the Lakers 31-17 in the third to close to 74-72. The Wizards ended on an 11-2 run, with Wall and Ariza scoring all their points. Bryant scored just four points and had a turnover as time expired.
The Lakers took a 57-41 halftime lead on the strength of an opening quarter in which they shot 68 percent and led by 16 points. The Wizards played them to a 22-22 tie in the second period despite shooting 36 percent.