Bryant leads Lakers past Clippers
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Kobe Bryant scored a season-high 40 points
to guide the Lakers over the Clippers, 105-101, in an intra-city showdown at
the Staples Center.
Lamar Odom finished with 18 points and six rebounds while Smush Parker dropped
in 15 for the Lakers, who have won four in a row.
“We shot the ball poorly, but we got 22 offensive rebounds. Our defense
stepped up and played well,” said Lakers head coach Phil Jackson.
Elton Brand posted a double-double with 20 points and 15 rebounds and Corey
Maggette also finished with 20 points for the Clippers, who have dropped two
of their last three.
The Clippers started the fourth quarter on an 11-0 run to erase a nine-point
deficit and forge ahead. Shaun Livingston hit three straight shots in the
spurt, including a game-tying three with 8:44 to play. Chris Kaman then gave
his team the lead with a hook shot in the paint.
Bryant finally gave the Lakers their first points of the quarter with a pair
of free throws with about 5 1/2 minutes remaining.
The offense began to roll from there, breaking off a 12-2 run that put the
Lakers up 98-91. Bryant made a high-arching scoop shot to put his squad up by
three with 2:40 left, and Luke Walton stretched the lead to seven moments
later with a layup off a nice feed from Kwame Brown.
“We played well tonight in spurts,” Bryant said. “They made their run, and we
were able to hold on.”
The Clippers got no closer than four the rest of the way.
The Lakers held a slim 51-48 edge over the Clippers at the break behind 23
points from Bryant.
They slowly stretched their lead in the third quarter thanks in large part to
the hot shooting of Odom. The versatile forward opened the stanza with a three
from straight away and finished with 10 points in the quarter, including a
layup with 2:40 remaining to push the advantage to 79-66.
The Clippers trimmed the lead to nine, 83-74, at the end of three.
The Clippers have lost 16 of their last 19 at the Lakers…The Lakers are 7-1
as the host this season and just completed a five-game homestand. They will
visit the Utah Jazz on Friday at they Delta Center…The Clippers are 0-3 as
the visitor this season.