L.A. Lakers 99, New Jersey 93

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 26 (AP) -- The stars led the way. It was the other guys who made the difference.

Lamar Odom scored 21 points, Kobe Bryant added 19 points and a season-high 10 assists, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the New Jersey Nets 99-93 on Sunday night.

But the two combined to make 14 shots in 40 attempts. Their teammates were 23-of-42.

"That's a team victory,'' said Odom, who shot 6-for-16. "We hit open shots tonight.''

Luke Walton shot 4-of-7 including 2-of-2 from 3-point range to make him 13-of-19 overall this season. Rookie Jordan Farmar was 4-of-8 including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, and Smush Parker was 5-of-10 including 2-of-5 on 3-pointers.

"When Smush was in there, he gave us a great boost,'' said Bryant, who shot just 8-of-24. "And then the young fella (Farmar) came in and played extremely well, and Kwame (Brown) did, too.

"They're ready, they're stepping up and hitting shots. Luke's leading the league in 3-point shooting accuracy.''

Brown had 13 points and nine rebounds, Parker added 13 points, Farmar scored 11 and Walton had 10.

"We had a big surge in that third quarter that got us over the hump,'' said Lakers coach Phil Jackson, whose team outscored the Nets 30-18 in the third period to go ahead for good. "We played some defense and got some things done out there that I thought were a little more indicative of what we were asking this team to do.''

Regarding Bryant's low shooting percentage, Jackson said: "They played him well - and they have two players that do a good job on him.''

Jackson referred to Vince Carter and Jason Kidd.

"They effectively defend as a group,'' Jackson said. "They're a team that knows the rules of our game to defend the lane well. The middle was pretty tough to penetrate out there, and Kobe didn't find a way to the basket very easily tonight.''

Carter had 21 points and 11 rebounds, Nenad Krstic scored 20, and Kidd had 16 assists for the Nets, who lost their fifth straight - all to Western Conference teams.

"We fought hard and I thought our guys did as good a job as you could against Kobe and Lamar,'' Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "Those other guys stepped up and made shots due to our help situations, so you've got to give Kobe credit for giving it to them and those guys credit for making the shots.''

Farmar outscored New Jersey 5-1 by himself to give the Lakers an 80-69 lead early in the fourth quarter. The Nets battled back, drawing within two on a basket by Krstic, but Odom's five points during a 7-1 run made it 95-87 with 3+ minutes to play.

Walton's 3-pointer with 1:53 left extended the Lakers' lead to 98-89, but the Nets scored the next four points before Kidd's miss with 20 seconds to go. Bryant made a free throw three seconds later to complete the scoring.

"A lot of us have been through a lot of streaks, so for the young guys, maybe it can wear on them,'' Kidd said. "But we're a veteran ballclub. We've lost five in a row, we've got to find a way to turn it around.

``As fast as you can lose five in a row, you can win, you know, 15, so we just have to stay together.''

Odom and Walton scored five points each during an 18-7 run that gave Los Angeles a 64-60 lead - their first since the opening minute of play. The Nets drew within one before the Lakers outscored them 7-1 to finish the third period, putting them on top 73-66.

Rookie Marcus Williams, who scored a career-high 27 points Friday night in a 99-93 loss at Phoenix, scored 14 points in 11 first-half minutes, sparking the Nets to a 48-43 lead. New Jersey led 33-24 after one period of play thanks to a 14-of-20 shooting performance.

Notes: The game was the first of eight straight for the Lakers at Staples Center including a game against the Clippers in which they're the designated road team. ... The Lakers are 8-1 at home, and they're eight homecourt wins are the most in the NBA. ... Kidd had seven points and eight rebounds to go with his 16 assists. He has two triple-doubles this season and 77 in his career. He'll tie Wilt Chamberlain for third on the NBA's all-time list with his next one. ... Lakers F Brian Cook missed his second game because of an upper respiratory tract infection. Farmar returned to action after missing two games because of a sprained right ankle. ... Nets F-C Clifford Robinson, among the NBA's career leaders in games and minutes played, will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Monday and is out indefinitely.


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