After a slow start, the Los Angeles Lakers slowly and methodically pulled away from the New Jersey Nets, winning their seventh straight game, 100-88 at Staples Center. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 27 points, but Lamar Odom was particularly effective, scoring 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Lakers pulled away late. Odom's play was needed on a night when Andrew Bynum was in foul trouble and largely ineffective.
Bynum was limited to 22 minutes, as he picked up five fouls, and was limited to two points and five rebounds.Odom picked up the slack, playing 40 minutes, scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 boards. Nets' center Brook Lopez had a field day against the Lakers tonight, scoring 35 points and picking up six rebounds. "Defensively, Lopez was a tough handle for our big guys tonight, and we didn't give them much help," head coach Phil Jackson said after the game.
Former Lakers Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar combined for 29 points off the bench on 14-for-27 shooting. Vujacic rebounded his own miss to hit a three-pointer that cut the Lakers' lead to two points with 7:31 remaining in the fourth quarter, but New Jersey never got closer than that. The Lakers were outrebounded by the Nets, 45-38, including giving up 15 offensive boards to New Jersey. Farmar was presented with his 2009-2010 championship ring before the game.
Pau Gasol had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who are 16-5 at home this season. Ron Artest was particularly effective on offense, scoring 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting. Artest his two three-pointers, and over his last seven games he has made 14 of 24 shots from beyond the arc. The Lakers next battle the Clippers at Staples Center on Sunday afternoon in what will technically be a Clippers' home game.
For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.