NBA Game Summary - Oklahoma City at LA Lakers
(Tuesday, February 10th)
Final Score: LA Lakers 105, Oklahoma City 98
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant became the youngest player in league history to reach the 23,000-point plateau, all part of a 34-point, seven-rebound performance, as the Lakers used a workmanlike effort to down hapless Oklahoma City, 105-98.
Bryant reached 23,000 points with 5:13 left in the second quarter, becoming the youngest player to reach the mark by five days over Wilt Chamberlain. In Chamberlain's defense, he played four years at Kansas while Bryant jumped to the NBA right out of high school.
Pau Gasol added 22 points with 14 rebounds and Lamar Odom added 12 points for the red-hot Lakers, winners in seven straight and 11 of 12. Adam Morrison, acquired in a Saturday trade with Charlotte, did not play.
"I'm afraid our guys thought they had done their job they had to do in the first half and came out the second half and didn't play with the same energy and let them back in the ball game," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson. "I thought out play was a little bit sloppy tonight. It wasn't as crisp as it was on the road."
Kevin Durant poured in 31 points with 10 boards, Russell Westbrook returned to his stomping grounds (he played collegiately at UCLA) with 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and Jeff Green added 16 points and eight boards. The Thunder saw their modest two-game winning streak come to an end.
"We had a great effort, but when you play the Lakers it has to be a flawless effort," said coach Scott Brooks. "We gave them too many offensive rebounds. That's something we have to address. We moved the ball well, but that's the best team in basketball."
The teams played to a 25-25 tie after one stanza before the Lakers seized control in the second period. After Joe Smith's jumper handed the Thunder a 43-41 lead, the Lakers reeled off 11 points in succession to take a double- digit edge. Bryant's two free throws started the stretch, and Gasol's tip-in off Bryant's missed bank shot gave Los Angeles a 52-43 advantage.
Back-to-back inside buckets by Odom and Bryant capped the first-half scoring for a 60-47 lead after 24 minutes of action.
New Orleans rallied to pull within 78-73 late in the third stanza on successive Durant baskets on the fastbreak, and Los Angeles added a bucket to extend its lead after three quarters.
Durant willed the Thunder back into the contest late, as the lanky scoring machine drained two free throws after attacking the rim then buried a jumper for a 101-93 deficit with 2:13 to go. Odom rimmed out a three on the other end, and New Orleans had a chance to make it a two-possession game. Durant drew multiple defenders and dished the basketball to an open Kyle Weaver, but he misfired from long distance.
Bryant and Durant exchanged a pair of free throws, putting Durant past 30 points for the fifth consecutive game. New Orleans failed to score on back-to- back possessions, committing a pair of costly turnovers to loss its chance at a comeback.
The Lakers improved to 24-4 at home, while the Thunder dropped to a measly 3-21 away from New Orleans...Los Angeles shot 45.5 percent from the floor, but made just 5-of-20 three-pointers...Jordan Farmar scored nine points with five assists for the Lakers...Weaver donated 11 points in defeat.
02/11 01:52:01 ET