Wednesday, November 26, 2008
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Lakers breeze to 12-1 with 120-93 romp over Nets

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[November 26, 2008]  LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Pau Gasol had 26 points and eight rebounds before sitting out the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Lakers overcame a poor shooting performance by Kobe Bryant to rout the New Jersey Nets 120-93 on Tuesday night and improve the NBA's best record to 12-1.

InsuranceBryant had difficulty most of the game with Vince Carter's defense, going 5-for-17 from the field in 28 minutes and finishing with 12 points in the Lakers' fifth straight victory. He shot 1-for-9 in the first half and didn't get to the free-throw line until 1:11 remained in the second quarter.

The reigning MVP and two-time scoring champion had a similar game at New Jersey on Feb. 5, scoring a season-low six points on 3-for-13 shooting with no free-throw attempts.

Devin Harris had 21 points and six assists for the Nets, who again played without Stromile Swift (back), Josh Boone (bruised left ankle) and Chris Douglas-Roberts (right knee strain). Eduardo Najera, who has an injured back, did not make the trip.

Yi Jianlian had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Nets, who shot only 34.5 percent and were 3-for-19 in the fourth quarter while getting outscored 30-17. Carter scored 14 points before sitting out the final 6:51. Rookie center Brook Lopez made four of his first five shots, but went 2-for-10 the rest of the way and finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Big man Andrew Bynum picked up his fourth foul midway through the third quarter with the Lakers ahead 70-66, but his teammates responded with an 11-4 spurt and took a 90-76 lead into the fourth. The second unit opened the period with a 15-2 run, including 3-pointers by Sasha Vujacic, Jordan Farmar and Lamar Odom and capped it on an 18-footer by Trevor Ariza that gave Los Angeles a 105-78 cushion with 8:19 left.

The Nets missed their first eight shots of the fourth before ending the drought on a 20-footer by Trenton Hassell with 5:24 remaining. By then, the Lakers led 113-88.

Gasol, who had 24 points and 12 rebounds against the Nets last February in his Lakers debut following his acquisition from the Memphis Grizzlies, paced Los Angeles to a 56-54 halftime lead with 16 points.

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Notes: The Nets won their first 13 games after Lawrence Frank replaced Byron Scott as head coach on Jan. 26, 2004. Since that streak, they are 184-184 in the regular season and 18-20 in the playoffs. ... The Nets had allowed 30 or more points by an opposing player in each of their previous five games and seven of eight. ... Yi, the Nets' 7-foot forward, made a 3-pointer in the first quarter and is 23-for-56 from behind the arc in 79 NBA games. The other four 7-footers who were in uniform -- Gasol, Bynum, Lopez and Lakers reserve center Chris Mihm -- have yet to attempt a 3-point shot this season. ... The Nets did not attempt a free throw until 6:56 remained in the first half. ... The Lakers are 7-6 against the Nets since sweeping them in the 2002 NBA finals. ... The Nets continue their trip Wednesday night at Sacramento, where they have lost nine in a row. ... Bryant and Carter were among three players to average at least 21 points, six rebounds and five assists last season. The other was LeBron James.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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