LOS ANGELES, Jan. 12 (Ticker) -- The first meeting between rookie LeBron James and Kobe Bryant was a disappointment for the Cleveland Cavaliers but potentially devastating for the Los Angeles Lakers.

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With James struggling and Bryant sidelined with a shoulder injury, rookie Brian Cook scored 11 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter and rallied the Lakers to an 89-79 victory over the Cavaliers.

James is a favorite for Rookie of the Year and Bryant is one of the most explosive scorers in the league, but a potential showdown was short-circuited early.

The injury-plagued Lakers lost Bryant to a sprained right shoulder in the first half. He did not return, leaving Los Angeles without Bryant, center Shaquille O'Neal and forward Karl Malone from its starting lineup.

"We've got to absorb what happens and move forward," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "If you let that rock you, then you're not going to be able to develop. We have a great bunch of guys in here who lay it on the line every night. That's what we're going to have to do every game as a team."

James scored 16 points but made just 6-of-20 shots and committed six turnovers. He missed all five of his shots in the fourth quarter as the Cavaliers let the game slip away.

Cleveland had a 72-71 edge midway through the fourth quarter before Los Angeles scored 10 of the next 12 points.

Gary Payton, who scored 13 points, buried a jumper to spark the run and give Los Angeles the lead for good with six minutes left. Derek Fisher made two free throws and Cook buried a runner before Cleveland's Kevin Ollie made a pair from the line.

Devean George, who scored 12 points and tied a career-high with 12 rebounds, followed a miss by Horace Grant with a dunk and Kareem Rush sank a floater for an 81-74 cushion with 2:12 remaining.

Cleveland has no answer defensively and could not find its offense, scoring just 14 points on 7-of-24 shooting in the fourth quarter.

"We've been struggling to score in the fourth quarter," Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas said. "We're just missing open shots. Like today, we were really struggling down the stretch and when they made a run we could not score at all."

Cook finished the scoring, making five consecutive free throws in the final 50 seconds as Los Angeles won its second straight game following a winless four-game road trip.

"We have a lot of tough players in here they're not going to back down from anybody," Cook said. "We are just going to keep on playing hard because that's all we can do."

Ilgauskas had 19 points and eight rebounds and Carlos Boozer had 12 and 12 for the Cavaliers, who shot just 33 percent (29-of-87) from the floor.

Cleveland was outrebounded, 58-54 despite having a size advantage on Los Angeles, which scored 21 points off 18 offensive rebounds.

"What disappointed me was our rebounding," Cavaliers coach Paul Silas said. "That was the most disappointing because we are bigger and stronger."

Bryant's injury occurred with six seconds left in the first quarter, when he was fouled by Cleveland's Kedrick Brown on a three-point attempt. He made all three free throws but returned to the locker room after the buzzer sounded.

Bryant underwent X-rays, which were negative, and returned to the court midway through the second. But he clearly was in pain and left for good with 2 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

"It was obvious that Kobe was hurt," Cook said. "But we still had another half to play. I think that guys reacted well. We came out and played great defense and pulled through."