Bryant, Lakers cruise past red-hot WarriorsDec 10, 2007 - 6:44 AM By Jonathan Raber PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- It seemed only a matter of time until Kobe Bryant found his stroke for the Los Angeles Lakers.
After struggling much of the first quarter, Bryant finished with 28 points to lift the Lakers to a 123-113 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night.
Andrew Bynum had 20 points and 11 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season and Lamar Odom contributed 14 and 10 rebounds to lead seven players in double-figure scoring for the Lakers.
"We played a stellar second half, we were able to get it to Andrew and use him to our advantage," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "They put on a couple of spurts and we were able to catch up again and push it down. I thought some of the things that helped, we were able to capitalize on some turnovers."
Bryant, who shot just 1-of-7 shooting in the game's first 10 minutes, re-grouped to score 25 points the rest of the way for Los Angeles.
"Well, we survived a slow start," Jackson said. "I thought we would be a little rusty not having a lot of practice time between games. A lot of guys have been hurt and out a little bit for practice and our rhythm was a bit off I thought."
The All-Star guard entered the contest averaging 27.1 points, second in the NBA behind Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James' 30.7 per contest. Bryant has now led the Lakers in scoring in all but two of his team's games.
Derek Fisher finished with 15 points, Vladimir Radmanovic had 14 and Trevor Ariza netted 11 off the bench for Los Angeles, which used a 12-4 run - capped by Odom's layup with 5:36 remaining in the game - to go up 113-99 and seal the win.
"We could have played harder," Warriors guard Baron Davis said. "We were still in the game, but we got to keep it close, especially on the road. We need to do what we did last year and keep games close and give ourselves wins in the last 4-to-5 minutes and use our speed at the end of games."
In victory, the Lakers slowed one of the league's hottest teams, the Warriors, who had won 11 of their last 13 games following an 0-6 start to the season.
Golden State entered the contest with one of the NBA's most prolific offenses, averaging 110.3 points. The Warriors had scored 120 points in their last two games.
"We tightened up defensively," Bryant said. "I think we did a much better job staying in front of them, contesting shots."
After trailing by nine points in this one, the Warriors used a 14-3 run to go up 73-70 on D.J. Mbenga's dunk with 6:57 left in the third. Bryant would respond with a 3-pointer and Fisher added one of his own to put the Lakers up for good.
Davis had 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists and Stephen Jackson finished with 18 for Golden State, which will host Los Angeles on Friday at Oracle Arena.
"I'll take this one, I shot the ball I think six or 7-of-21," Jackson said. I didn't shoot the ball well at all tonight. I'll take this one for the team because I got to play better for us."
GOLDEN STATE 113
LA LAKERS 123 FINAL
Dec 10 12:04 AM
GOLDEN STATE 86
LA LAKERS 92 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 9 11:30 PM
GOLDEN STATE 59
LA LAKERS 60 HALFTIME
Dec 9 10:45 PM
GOLDEN STATE 31
LA LAKERS 31 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 9 10:08 PM
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