99 - 108 Final
  for this game

Bryant, Bynum lead Lakers over Rockets

Jan 4, 2012 - 6:57 AM
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant poured in a game-high 37 points to go with eight rebounds and six assists, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 108-99 win over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday.

Andrew Bynum finished with 21 points and 22 rebounds for his first career 20-20 game, while Pau Gasol netted 14 points and grabbed eight boards for the Lakers, who improved to 4-3. Steve Blake chipped in with 11 points for Los Angeles.

"Andrew is a a double-double guy," Lakers head coach Mike Brown said. "He's capable of getting big numbers like he did tonight. Defensively, we have to play for 48 minutes. Tonight we didn't do that, but we played long enough to get the win."

Kyle Lowry scored 22 points with 10 rebounds and nine assists, Luis Scola finished with 20 points and Chase Budinger had 16 for the Rockets, who were unable to carry momentum from a 95-84 win over Atlanta on Saturday. Kevin Martin finished with 12 points on just 5-of-17 shooting for Houston.

With the game tied at 78 early in the fourth quarter, the Lakers essentially put the game away with a 15-5 run to take a 93-83 lead with 5:28 to play in regulation.

Houston scored the next six points to cut the deficit to four, but the Lakers quickly built the lead back to nine with 2 1/2 minutes to go.

A jumper by Bryant with 1:59 left gave the Lakers their largest lead of the game at 11 and they held on from there.

"We had some defensive breakdowns," Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said. "They made shots over us tonight. We have to get guys to drive and attack the paint."

After a tightly played first quarter, the Lakers held a 31-25 advantage heading to the second.

Trailing 37-29 with 6:14 left before halftime, Houston came roaring back with a 13-4 burst to grab a 42-41 edge with less than four minutes to go.

A Scola jumper pushed the Houston lead to three -- matching its largest of the night -- but LA ended the half on a 7-0 run to take a 50-46 advantage into the locker room.

In the third quarter, neither team was able to pull away, as the game was tied eight times and featured 10 lead changes. The Lakers took a 76-75 lead into the final quarter courtesy of a Gasol jumper with 12.7 seconds left in the frame.

Game Notes

Los Angeles leads the all-time series between the teams, 130-62...Rockets forward Courtney Lee was helped off the floor and into the locker room early in the fourth quarter with a right calf strain...Bryant's 37 points were a season-high...The Lakers have won 10 of their last 12 meetings with the Rockets...Los Angeles shot 53 percent from the floor, while Houston shot 43 percent...Houston turned 15 Lakers turnovers into 21 points...Houston only attempted seven free throws all game...Bynum had 12 points and 14 rebounds in the first half.