Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant scored 32 points and dished out 11 assists, as theneeded overtime to post a 114-106 victory over the at Staples Center. Pau Gasol finished with 26 points and 16 rebounds, Lamar Odom totaled 20 points and 20 boards and Derek Fisher added 11 points for the Lakers, who snapped their losing streak at two games. Kevin Martin, celebrating his 28th birthday, logged 30 points to pace Houston, which has dropped three games in a row and five of seven overall.
Luis Scola had 24 points, including a game-tying layup with 5.5 seconds to go in regulation, and grabbed 15 rebounds in defeat. Scola converted the easy bucket to pull Houston even at 98-98. The Lakers entered overtime for the first time this season when Odom missed a jumper from beyond the arc at the buzzer.
The Rockets grabbed a four-point lead at 104-100 in the extra session, but a Gasol hook shot ignited a 14-2 run to end the game. "We didn't make the plays down the stretch and they did," said Houston head coach. "Our guys played hard all game. We made great plays in regulation to tie it up, but we couldn't finish it. We just didn't do enough to win."
Los Angeles led 31-23 after the opening 12 minutes, and a pair of Bryant free throws extended the margin to 43-31 midway through the second quarter. Houston trimmed its deficit to 49-48 before the Lakers closed the frame on a 5-0 surge to take a 54-48 lead into the break. Martin knocked down a trey and sank a free throw to put the Rockets up 68-63 with 5:27 to play in the third quarter. The teams were locked at 74-all at the conclusion of the stanza.
Houston trailed by as many as seven in the fourth quarter before rallying to force overtime. "I didn't like the way we closed the game; that was disappointing," said Los Angeles head coach. "We got a hold of what they were doing in the overtime and found a way to win." The Rockets fell to 0-5 in overtime this season...Lakers center Andrew Bynum missed the game with a bone bruise in his left knee.
For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.