The Lakers, battling with the Utah Jazz for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, edged out the Golden State Warriors 118-116 in a dramatic clash at the Staples Center.
But they will be left anxiously awaiting updates on their number 24 after a succession of injuries. He jarred both knees in separate incidents in the third quarter but the real damage came with three minutes remaining in the fourth when he went down clutching at his left ankle or Achilles tendon. He netted his two free throws for a 34-point haul but then hobbled off court with assistance and did not return.
Steve Blake's pair of free throws took the Lakers ahead with 42 seconds remaining and Carl Landry missed a crucial shot before Stephen Curry hit the rim from inside his own half on the buzzer.
Pau Gasol had a triple-double of 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for the Lakers, while Curry led all scorers with 47 points.
It was a vital response to Utah's victory, the Jazz pulling clear in the fourth quarter to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 107-100. Al Jefferson led the way as he equalled his career-best match total of 40 points.
Elsewhere, the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrated their North-West Division title with a 106-90 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Thunder knew back-to-back division titles were secure once the Dallas Mavericks beat the Denver Nuggets 108-105 in overtime, with 22 points each from Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter and 20 from OJ Mayo.
And Russell Westbrook duly piled up 33 points in a comfortable win for Oklahoma.
Pacific Division winners the Los Angeles Clippers were made to work hard for a 96-93 win over the New Orleans Hornets in Louisiana, coming from six behind at the start of the last quarter.
Chris Paul scored 10 of their 39 points in the fourth to finish with a double-double of 17 points and 14 assists, while Eric Gordon poured in 25 for the Hornets.
The San Antonio Spurs have wrapped up the South-West Division and kept up their battle with the Thunder for the number one seed by beating the Sacramento Kings 108-101, Tony Parker with 22 points and 10 assists.
The Memphis Grizzlies, currently holding the fifth seed, beat the seventh-ranked Houston Rockets 82-78.
In the Eastern Conference, the New York Knicks moved three games clear of the Indiana Pacers in the battle for the second seed with a 101-91 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Carmelo Anthony and JR Smith scored 31 points apiece, Anthony adding 14 rebounds.
Indiana were sunk by Deron Williams' 33 points and 14 assists as they lost 117-109 to the Brooklyn Nets, who are assured of at least the fourth seed.
Runaway top seeds the Miami Heat marched on with a 109-101 win over the Boston Celtics, LeBron James' 20 points leading a team effort that saw six players in double figures.
The fifth-seeded Atlanta Hawks beat the number eight Milwaukee Bucks 109-104 with double-doubles from Jeff Teague (24 points, 10 assists) and Al Horford (18 points, 17 rebounds). Josh Smith also scored 24 points.
The sixth-ranked Chicago Bulls surprisingly lost 97-88 to the Toronto Raptors, the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Washington Wizards 97-86 and the Detroit Pistons enjoyed a 113-93 rout of the Charlotte Bobcats.