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Odom, Bryant shine again as Lakers defeat Grizzlies

Nov 13, 2006 - 5:18 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Lakers are learning quickly that two stars are better than one.

Kobe Bryant scored 21 points and Lamar Odom had 20 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists as the Lakers rode their two best players to a 91-81 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Los Angeles improved to 5-3 and rebounded from Friday's 97-83 defeat to Detroit. The Lakers continue to get strong efforts from Bryant, who has been one of the league's premier talents for years, but Odom has been the team's most complete player through eight games.

"It's very fun, because (Bryant) gets so much attention," Odom said. "He's able to find people and he doesn't get enough credit for his passing. He finds people around the rim."

Odom made 7-of-13 shots from the field and had only two fewer rebounds than the rest of the Lakers' starting lineup combined. He has led Los Angeles in scoring twice, rebounding five times and assists on three separate occasions this season.

"That's what we need, that 1-2 punch," Bryant said. "We're going to continue to provide that."

Bryant capped his night with a pair of big baskets down the stretch to thwart the Grizzlies' mini-run. He finished 7-of-17 from the floor and chipped in six rebounds and six assists.

"It's awesome, especially when (Bryant and Odom) are getting points within the offense, it's a lot of fun," Lakers forward Luke Walton said.

Andrew Bynum had 11 points and seven rebounds and Smush Parker added 10 points and six assists for the Lakers, who had 26 assists on 36 field goals. They won despite shooting just 4-of-16 from the arc and committing 18 turnovers.

"When Lamar is on his game and No. 24 is on his game, it's going to be an easy game for the Lakers to play," Parker said.

Mike Miller led Memphis with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Damon Stoudamire added 16 points and Hakim Warrick pitched in 10 for the slumping Grizzlies, who have lost four straight games and five of their first six.

Los Angeles held a 49-30 halftime advantage behind 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists from Odom. Memphis shot just 11-of-30 (36 percent) in the first half and committed 15 of its 19 turnovers in the opening 24 minutes.

"We're leading the league in worst field-goal percentage," Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello said. "We haven't been exactly lighting it up from the foul line. We have stretches in every game where we just dont score the ball. We have to overcome these things."

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