Saturday , Dec , 17 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Bryant leads Lakers past Wizards

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Kobe Bryant poured in 41 points and
grabbed eight rebounds, as the Los Angeles Lakers returned from a successful
road trip and defeated the Washington Wizards, 97-91, at Staples Center.

Lamar Odom notched a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while
Devean George tallied 13 points for the Lakers, who have won seven of their
last eight games.

“When you run this offense right you usually get what you want,” said Odom.
“Kobe never surprises me. You can sometimes put three guys on him and he’ll
make the shot.”

Gilbert Arenas scored 29 points and Caron Butler contributed 20 points for the
Wizards, who have lost four of their last five games.

Antawn Jamison scored 12 points and Brendan Haywood added 10 in the loss.

Smush Parker’s jumper with about 2 1/2 minutes left gave Los Angeles a 88-83
edge. After Etan Thomas made 1-of-2 free throws, Odom scored inside to
increase the advantage to 90-84.

Butler made a difficult driving layup to cut the lead to four. Bryant drained
1-of-2 from the charity stripe on the next possession, and Jamison scored on
the other end to make it a one-possession game, 91-88 with 1:09 left.

Kwame Brown and Bryant each made 1-of-2 from the line to make the score 93-88.
Arenas converted a three-point play on the other end to trim the deficit to
93-91. Then, the Lakers threw the inbounds pass long to George for a layup and
Arenas’ three-point attempt was blocked to seal the Wizards’ fate.

“We had opportunities to take control,” said Wizards head coach Eddie
Jordan. “We just missed a lot of opportunities. They made big plays and
we couldn’t come up with the big play.”

Washington held a 22-19 lead after the first quarter.

After Los Angeles jumped out to a 30-24 advantage, the Wizards went on a 21-9
scoring streak to take a six-point lead.

Trailing 37-26, Antonio Daniels made a jumper and Arenas made two free throws.
Then, after Bryant scored inside, Arenas made a trey and Jamison converted on
a layup to give Washington a 45-39 lead. The Wizards took a 47-42 lead into
the locker room.

The Lakers led 70-66 after three quarters.

Game Notes

The Lakers have won eight of the last 11 meetings…Los Angeles is 3-0 this
season versus the Southeast Division…The Lakers shot 47.2 percent from the
floor and held a 46-31 edge on the glass…Washington shot just 34.2 percent
from the floor, but did convert on 33-of-37 from the charity
stripe…Washington guard Jarvis Hayes (knee) left in the first quarter and
did not return.