Saturday , Apr , 07 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Bryant leads Lakers past Sonics; Ridnour carried off floor

Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – Kobe Bryant poured in a game-high 46 points,
as the LA Lakers slipped past the Seattle SuperSonics, 112-109, at KeyArena.

Bryant made 13-of-27 shots from the floor and 19-of-24 at the foul line, as he
topped the 40-point plateau for the 16th time this season. Lamar Odom posted
20 points and seven rebounds for the Lakers, who remained a half game ahead of
the Denver Nuggets for the sixth seed in the Western Conference playoff race.
Brian Cook chipped in 11 points in the win, while Luke Walton and Ronny Turiaf
each finished with 10 points.

“We want to go into the playoffs with some kind of rhythm,” said Bryant. “We
are looking forward to the upcoming games.”

Chris Wilcox turned in 32 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Sonics, who
dropped their fourth consecutive outing. Damien Wilkins added 25 points in the
setback, while Earl Watson logged 16 points and eight assists. Nick Collison
put forth 14 points and the same amount of rebounds in the losing cause. To
make matters worse for Seattle, guard Luke Ridnour was carried off the court
after injuring his left ankle in the first quarter. He did not return.

Cook’s three pointer with 1:23 left in the first period gave the Lakers a
31-28 lead, which they would take into the second quarter.

The Sonics used an 8-0 spurt late in the second quarter to grab a 55-48 lead
at the half.

Bryant scored 20 points in the third quarter, including seven in row over the
final 1:44 of the frame, but the Lakers still trailed, 86-82, heading into the
final period.

LA scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to take an 87-86 lead,
and the two teams went back and forth for a majority of the stanza. With 1:41
left, Bryant hit a jumper to give the Lakers a 105-103 lead and they would
hang on for the victory.

“Defense was key,” said Odom. “We made some big stops. Defense and rebounding
was how we won the game.”

Game Notes

The Lakers snapped a two-game slide with the win…LA now leads the season
series, 2-1…The Sonics turned the ball over 21 times compared to just 12
miscues by the Lakers…Seattle won the battle on the boards 50-31.