Kobe Bryant tallied 36 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and four steals to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 111-99 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night at Staples Center. The win was the third straight conquest for the Lakers, who improved to 13-2 at home on the season.
The Lakers have beaten the Suns four straight times.
Bryant nearly outscored the Suns by himself in the third quarter, putting up 18 points (to 25 for Phoenix, who hit a pair of three-pointers in the final 35 seconds of the period) on 8-of-12 shooting in the quarter. The Lakers (18-12) led by as many as 20 points in the quarter.
Kobe, who made 14 of 25 field goals in the game, has 11 career games of 40 points or more against the Suns, including 126 total points in his last three contests against Phoenix. Bryant leads the NBA in scoring this season at 28.9 points per game.
Andrew Bynum had 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers, who shot 53.0% from the field and reached 100 points for just the fourth time in 30 games this season. Pau Gasol added 10 points and 13 rebounds for his eighth straight double-double.
Matt Barnes had a season-high 17 points and seven rebounds off the bench, leading a reserve unit that totaled 34 points in the game.
Marcin Gortat had a monster game with 21 points and 16 rebounds for Phoenix (12-19), who shot 45.6% in the game. Steve Nash had 11 points and a season-high-tying 17 assists for the Suns, but also had a season-high seven turnovers. Former Laker Shannon Brown scored 15 points for Phoenix, including a thunderous putback dunk that had the crowd buzzing in the fourth quarter.
The Lakers and Suns will run it back on Sunday evening in Phoenix.
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