Friday , Dec , 22 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Krstic injured as Nets fall to Lakers

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – Kobe Bryant was suffering from a chest
cold but still had 21 points and a season-high 11 assists to lead the Los
Angeles Lakers to a 99-95 victory over the New Jersey Nets at Continental
Airlines Arena.

Smush Parker scored 13 points and Maurice Evans donated 12 points for the
Lakers, who have won two straight games.

Vince Carter had 33 points and five rebounds while Richard Jefferson netted 18
for the Nets, who were denied their first three-game winning streak for the
fourth time. Jason Kidd added 16 points, nine assists and five rebounds for
New Jersey.

Brian Cook’s trey pushed the lead to 10, 57-47, but New Jersey used a 13-3
rally, including seven points from Kidd, to tie the game at 60.

With 6:08 left in the third quarter, Nenad Krstic was fed the ball in the
paint and made a spin move before his left knee buckled. He hit the deck and
stayed on the ground until he was helped off the court, not putting any weight
on the knee. Krstic will undergo an MRI on Saturday.

The Lakers countered with seven straight points, but the Nets countered with a
15-6 burst, capped by Carter’s alley-oop, for a 75-73 margin. New Jersey led
76-75 heading into the final frame.

Tied 83-83, Los Angeles went on a 15-2 streak, with eight points coming from
Bryant, for its biggest lead of the night, 98-85, with under three minutes on
the clock. The Nets added fuel to the run by hitting just 1-of-9 during that

New Jersey scored 10 unanswered points, ending with Kidd’s three with 37.7
seconds to play, cutting the deficit to three, 98-95, but Carter’s trey with
three ticks left hit off the back end of the rim.

Trailing 12-6, the Nets scored nine of the next 11 points, highlighted by
Jefferson’s three-point play, to take a 15-14 edge. However, the Lakers
responded with a 12-6 spurt to close the quarter for a 26-21 lead.

Each team tallied 26 points in the second quarter and Los Angeles took a 52-47
halftime advantage.

Game Notes

Los Angeles shot 48 percent from the floor, compared to New Jersey, which
connected on 41.7 percent of its shots from the field…Cook finished with 11
points…Andrew Bynum and Jordan Farmar each had 10 points for Los
Angeles…New Jersey’s Mikki Moore ended with 10 points and eight boards…The
Nets committed only five turnovers.