Lakers vs. New Jersey: Lakers defeat Nets with strong finish in fourth
Kobe Bryant had 32 points and six assists to lead the Lakers past the Nets.
Lamar Odom had 22 points and seven rebounds and Pau Gasol finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lakers were even with the Nets at 87-87 in the fourth, but pulled out the win behind Odom and Bryant.
Bryant found Gasol for a dunk and then Odom for a dunk.
Derek Fisher also found Odom for a three-pointer that gave the Lakers a 95-87 lead that sealed the decision.
Lakers 69, Nets 67 (end of third quarter)
At the start of the third, Kobe Bryant scored to give the Lakers a 12-point lead.
It looked as if L.A. would then take control of the game, but that was not the case. The Lakers were clinging to a two-point lead entering the fourth quarter.
Bryant had 11 of his 18 points through three quarters in the third.
But Pau Gasol had just two points in the third and Ron Artest continued to struggle with his offense, scoring just two points through three.
Artest was one for six.
Lakers 52, Nets 42 (end of first half)
The Lakers extend their lead in the second quarter by playing better and more sound basketball.
The Lakers didn't shoot very well in the first half, making only 43.9% of their shots, but they had just two turnovers.
Pau Gasol scored all seven of his first-half points in the second quarter.
Lakers 30, Nets 24 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers didn't get off to a good start, going down 7-0 to the lowly New Jersey Nets.
But L.A. finished the first quarter strong, opening a six-point lead and dropping 30 points on the Nets.
By the time the Lakers got off their bus and got into the locker room and Coach Phil Jackson was giving his pre-game media session, it was 8:45 a.m. in Los Angeles.
The tipoff to the game against New Jersey was scheduled for 10 a.m. SoCal time.
That's awfully early for the Lakers.
"We like all the day games," Jackson said. "I mean, the coaching staff does. All the players were asleep on the bus on the way over here."
The Lakers also were going to face a former teammate in Nets point guard Jordan Farmar.
Farmar spent four seasons with the Lakers before he signed a three-year, $12-million deal with the Nets last summer.
-- Broderick Turner, reporting from East Rutherford, N.J.
Photo: Lakers center Pau Gasol goes to work in the post against Nets center Brook Lopez in the first half Sunday. Credit: Justin Lane / EPA