92 - 97 Final
  for this game

Bryant, Lakers down Cavaliers

Jan 14, 2012 - 7:37 AM Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant eclipsed the 40-point plateau for the third straight game, and the Lakers dropped the Cavaliers, 97-92, to give head coach Mike Brown a win against his former team.

Bryant finished with 42 points on 15-of-31 shooting, while Pau Gasol added 19 points and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles, which has won five straight and improved to 8-1 at home.

Kyrie Irving netted 21 points to pace Cleveland, which trailed by as many as 19 but pulled within one possession midway through the fourth quarter.

The Lakers, perhaps looking forward to their matchup against the Clippers on Saturday, did not make a field goal for the first five-plus minutes of the final frame.

Their 12-point cushion entering the stanza shrunk to 82-79 with seven minutes left following Alonzo Gee's 1-for-2 effort from the foul line.

Daniel Gibson had a chance to tie the game on Cleveland's next possession, but missed a three-pointer. Bryant grabbed the rebound and hit Matt Barnes for a transition dunk to halt the 9-0 spurt.

Bryant put in his 39th and 40th point on a jumper for an 89-81 edge with 2:55 remaining, and the hosts hit enough free throws down the stretch to come away with the surprisingly tight win.

"Our guys just withstood their run. It wasn't pretty, but we just found a way and got enough stops," Brown said.

Brown's counterpart, Byron Scott, wasn't happy with his team's performance.

"I thought we could have played a lot better," Scott said. "You can't turn the ball over 20 times against quality teams like this."

The Lakers led 32-28 after the first quarter, and Bryant matched the Cavs' production in the second with 13 points. The future Hall-of-Famer bookended an 11-1 run with three-pointers for a 52-39 advantage late in the frame.

The margin increased to 59-41 at the break.

Game Notes

Brown coached the Cavs from 2005-10, leading them to the NBA Finals in his second season. He was fired following a playoff exit in 2010, which coincided with LeBron James' departure from the Cavs that offseason...Bryant has 110 career 40-point games...Gasol recorded his fifth straight double- double...Barnes and Andrew Bynum each scored 15 points for the Lakers, with the latter adding 11 rebounds...Ramon Sessions netted 12 points for Cleveland, which finishes its seven-game road trip on Monday in Charlotte.