The "LA" of the Ko P. DeLA-Ron Lakers Powers Team Over Rockets
Lamar Odom (L) of the Ko P. DeLA-Ron Lakers came through in a big way, nearly recording a triple-double despite fighting off an intestinal flu.
"I didn't feel too well," said Odom, who grinded out 17 points and season-highs of 19 rebounds and nine assists. "I haven't slept in two days."
Andrew Bynum (A) shook off a slow first half and scored 11 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter and snagged eight rebounds. Bynum said, "I was very aggressive."
Kobe Bryant (Ko) the NBA's leading scorer (30.02) ppg. added 22 points on 9-23 shooting. Bryant passed Patrick Ewing for 15th place (25,837) on NBA's all-time scoring list.
Pau Gasol (P.) was sidelined by a left hamstring injury. Gasol missed his 12th game of the season.
In what was a low-scoring affair which featured poor shooting on both ends, the Lakers did just enough, gutting out a 88-79 victory Tuesday at Staples Center.
Lakers forward Ron Artest (Ron) struggled in his first game back since missing the last five contests with a concussion, an injury he suffered when he fell down a flight of stairs outside his home Christmas Day. Artest finished with seven points on 3-for-11 shooting, seven rebounds and four turnovers.
Derek Fisher (De) chipped in 4 points in 25 minutes of play.
Los Angeles, which now leads the season series 2-1 against Houston, also leaned heavily on Bynum down the stretch against a smaller Rockets team.
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Lakers nursed a 59-55 edge.
Bynum helped the Lakers, who never trailed in the game, build the lead back to double-digits, 73-63, with 5:17 left. The Rockets answered.
After missing his previous five shots, Shane Battier sank a pair of 3-pointers, part of a 10-3 run to get the game to within 76-73 with 3:10 to go.
That would be the closest Houston (20-15) would get, however.
"We had our chance," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "But, we didn't finish play and they did. Bynum was a handful all night for us."
Carl Landry finished with a team-high 19 points. Brooks, who dropped a career-high 33 points in his last meeting against the Lakers, was held in check with 18 points. He also had five turnovers. Luis Scola chipped in with 15 points.
Trevor Ariza struggled for the third straight game against his former team. Ariza, who was averaging 12 points on 21.2 percent shooting in the previous two meetings this season, finished with 12 points on 5-for-15 shooting. He did have a career-high eight assists.
The Lakers (28-6) will be the visiting team at Staples Center tonight vs. the LA Clippers.
The Ko P. DeLA-Ron signature nickname is the combination of the first name of the 6-core LA Laker players Ko-Kobe, P.-Pau, De-Derek, L-Lamar, A-Andrew, Ron-Ron.