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(Tuesday, February 5th)
Final Score: LA Lakers 92, Brooklyn 83
Brooklyn, NY (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant had 21 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 92-83 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday.
Despite not having Dwight Howard, who was out with a shoulder injury, nor Metta World Peace due to a suspension, the Lakers were able to pull off the win, their sixth in the past seven games. Steve Nash added 17 points and eight assists, while Earl Clark registered 14 points and 12 rebounds.
"The ball is moving, everybody is feeling a lot more comfortable and they?re fighting a lot more on defense, it?s good," said Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni. "We were playing hard, we were good with the double teams and not over extending too much"
The Lakers lost forward Pau Gasol to a right foot injury in the fourth quarter. Gasol landed on top of Brook Lopez's foot, but with his left. The 32- year-old Spaniard was diagnosed with a plantar fasciitis strain, and will undergo an MRI exam Wednesday in Boston.
Brook Lopez scored 30 points for the Nets, who came into the game off a win against Chicago on Friday. Deron Williams had 15 points, six assists and five rebounds.
Bryant scored four unanswered points in the opening minute of the third to give the Lakers a 53-40 advantage, but the Nets responded with a 20-6 run to take the lead. Gerald Wallace's putback with 3:53 remaining gave Brooklyn a 60-59 edge.
Nash's free throw and Bryant's jumper put the Lakers back in front. They took a 67-64 margin into the fourth.
Lopez tried to take advantage of the Lakers lacking a true center in the lane, scoring the final six points for Brooklyn and giving his team an 83-82 lead with 2:32 left to play.
However, a driving layup by Antawn Jamison sparked a 10-0 run for Los Angeles to give them the win. Bryant added a layup of his own to make it 86-83, and Lopez missed a jumper on the Nets' ensuing possession. Clark's jumper and four Nash free throws capped the surge.
"To their credit, they closed out the game well," said Lopez. "I just feel like those last two and a half minutes were about as bad as I?ve played on both ends of the floor all season. They played well, I feel like the responsibility is on myself. I made decisions offensively and didn?t finish well, and defensively I didn?t guard the pick-and-roll very well."
Brooklyn led after the first quarter, 24-18. Williams scored 11 points during the frame alone.
However, the Lakers locked down defensively in the second, limiting the Nets to 16 points on 6-of-23 shooting. Clark's tip-in with 6 1/2 minutes left tied the game at 32 and Gasol's hook shot thirty seconds later gave Los Angeles the lead.
By halftime, the Lakers held a 49-40 advantage.
Lopez scored 18 points in the second half ... The Nets haven't beaten the Lakers since Nov. 25, 2007 and haven't beaten them at home since Mar. 17, 2006, when the team still played in East Rutherford.
02/06 00:32:49 ET
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