NBA Game Summary - LA Lakers at New Jersey
(Saturday, December 19th)
Final Score: LA Lakers 103, New Jersey 84
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant scored 29 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to pace the Los Angeles Lakers to a 103-84 win over the New Jersey Nets.
With a snowstorm raging outside the Izod Center, the team with the NBA's best record (21-4) pulled away over the final two quarters to topple the squad with the league's worst mark (2-26).
Pau Gasol finished with 14 points, 14 rebounds and six assists for Los Angeles. Lamar Odom tallied 14 points and 12 rebounds in a reserve role. Jordan Farmar also had 14 points. Each shot 7-of-9 from the field as the Lakers won their third straight since a defeat at Utah last Saturday. They've won 14 of their last 15 games.
"To me it was having a couple days off, so our rhythm was off," Bryant said. "You could see it in the first half. We weren't on the string defensively. Start of the second half, you start seeing us kind of picking it back up, getting back in sync, getting back in tune with each other."
Devin Harris scored 21 to pace the Nets, who suffered their seventh consecutive defeat. Chris Douglas-Roberts finished with 20 points, while Brook Lopez had 18 points and 11 boards.
The Nets were ahead 48-46 at the half, but shot just 11-of-39 from the field over the final two quarters. Bryant had 18 of his points in the second half.
The Lakers were up by double digits late in the opening quarter and settled for a 29-21 edge after 12 minutes, but the Nets surged in the second. They used a 14-2 spurt to go ahead. Harris' layup capped it for a 46-44 edge with 1:44 remaining in the half.
"Little taste of how we need to play," Harris said of the first half. "Defensively we were active. But most importantly when we get stops, we're able to run, and when we're able to run, guys are able to get really whatever they want. Whether in the paint, in the post-ups, get into the lane. It opens the defense. It doesn't allow the defense just to set and really keep us out of what we like to do. If we can have longer stretches of playing like that we'll be better off."
Down 56-55 early in the third, the Lakers went on a dominating 11-0 spurt to go in front for good. Odom started it with a layup and finished the flurry with a put-back layup off a missed Bryant jumper.
It was 74-64 moving to the fourth and the double-digit margin remained the rest of the game.
Los Angeles is now a perfect 18-0 when Bryant scores at least 21 points...The Lakers have won five straight over the Nets, including one this season that made New Jersey 0-17.
12/20 01:39:19 ET