THE FACTS: Despite pounding the Dwight Howard-less Lakers on the offensive boards, the Nets could not sustain a full comeback after a dreadful second quarter, falling 92-83 at Barclays Center. Kobe Bryant (21 points, eight rebounds) made huge plays for the Lakers down the stretch and Earl Clark (14 points, 12 rebounds) was effective both with the starters and a nondescript second unit that confounded the Nets. Brook Lopez put up a game-high 30 points, but received little help from an off-target starting backcourt and an out-of-form bench.
QUOTABLE: "Ever since Coach [Mike] D'Antoni gave me an opportunity, he has trusted me in crucial parts of the game. I am just going out there producing."
THE STAT: The Nets' bench shot 6-for-23 and recorded one assist.
TURNING POINT: Lopez gave the Nets an 83-82 lead with a three-point play, but the Lakers reeled off 10 straight points to finish the game.
QUOTABLE II: "I'm not encouraged by anything I saw tonight."
-- Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo
INSIDE THE ARENA: For the third straight home game, fans of the visiting team made themselves heard. Lakers fans chanted "M-V-P" for Bryant and the crowd reacted in force to almost anything Bryant did.
ROOKIE WATCH: The Lakers' Robert Sacre played important minutes in the second quarter.
NOTABLE: The Nets have now lost 10 straight to the Lakers. ... Pau Gasol left the game late in the fourth quarter and didn't return. Gasol said he felt a pop in his foot and left the arena on crutches. ... Bryant brought the crowd to its feet by posterizing Lopez and Gerald Wallace with a vicious dunk late in the fourth quarter. ... The Nets lost for the first time in 18 games this season against a team with a losing record at the time of the game.
UP NEXT: For the Lakers, Thursday @ Boston, Friday @ Charlotte, Sunday @ Miami. For the Nets, Wednesday @ Detroit, Friday @ Washington, Sunday vs. San Antonio.