Bryant, Parker Spark Lakers Over Magic
L.A. Lakers 102, Orlando 87
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 28 (Ticker) -- Kobe Bryant's precision and Smush Parker's versatility took the steam out of the Orlando Magic.
Bryant scored 19 of his 28 points in the second half and Parker added 17 as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Magic for the 14th time in 16 meetings with a 102-87 triumph.
After DeShawn Stevenson hit a jumper to bring Orlando within 50-48 with 9:36 left in the third quarter, the Lakers broke open the contest with a 22-4 run.
In an 18-second sequence during the burst, Parker seemed to be everywhere. He set up Bryant for a 3-pointer to give the Lakers a 57-50 edge before making a steal that led to his own three-point play. On the ensuing inbound pass, he tipped the ball to Brian Cook, who found Lamar Odom for a left-handed dunk, widening the lead to 62-50.
Later in the third, Parker assisted on a 22-foot jumper by Cook and an alley-oop dunk by Kwame Brown on consecutive possessions to give the Lakers a 79-61 edge. Los Angeles ended the period sinking 13 of its last 15 shots.
Grant Hill converted a three-point play to cap a 17-6 run for Orlando, which cut the deficit to 94-85 before Bryant nailed a basket from the arc with 3:15 remaining. Darko Milicic followed with a layup for the Magic before Bryant hit a reverse layup for a 99-87 edge with 2:21 to play.
The league's leading scorer, Bryant made 11-of-20 shots and had eight assists. Cook and Chris Mihm scored 12 points each and Brown added 11 for the Lakers.
Hill scored 23 points, Dwight Howard had 15 and Stevenson 14 for Orlando, which has lost nine straight road games against the Lakers and 10 of 11 overall.