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"I'm concerned," Bryant said, "but I'm confident we'll get it (the defense) fixed. We've responded to challenges all year, and in a way, it's good to go through something like this."
Gasol and Andrew Bynum made 10 of 14 shots in the first quarter and the Lakers built a 40-25 lead.
Bryant started 3 for 5 on Wednesday. He drove into the lane late in the quarter, wrapped the ball around his back and hit a left-handed shot in the lane, part of a 20-7 Lakers' spurt.
"That's like something you see in a video game," Parsons said.
The Rockets played stingier defense in the second quarter, and the Lakers cooled off, going 6 for 18 from the field. Houston finished the half with a 12-6 spurt to trail only 56-51 at the break.
Bynum was ejected late in the third quarter after picking up his second technical foul for mouthing off to referee Monty McCutchen. Bynum scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds before departing. He did not speak to reporters after the game.
"One of his big strengths is the chip on his shoulder that he plays with," Bryant said. "You can't expect him to have that one night and then knock him for it the next. I like that chip that he plays with."
NOTES: The Lakers' 40-point first quarter was a season high. ... Rockets G Kevin Martin (strained right shoulder) sat out for the fifth straight game, and Houston coach Kevin McHale did not know when the team's leading scorer might be ready to return. ... Yao Ming had a courtside seat, the first Rockets game he's watched since retiring from basketball last summer. The 7-foot-6 center's career was cut short by injuries, mostly to his left foot. He says he's healthy now, "good enough for walking, but not good enough for playing basketball." Yao seemed content on Wednesday night and had no regrets that he and Tracy McGrady could never deliver a championship. "We had this chance before, and we missed it," Yao said. "There's no `if.' We just need to face ourselves, and say we did our best and walk away." Former Rocket and Laker Robert Horry watched the game with Yao.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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