L.A. Lakers 106, Orlando 93

ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 27 (AP) -- The Los Angeles Lakers didn't need Kobe Bryant's jumper during crunch time. They had Smush Parker.

Parker scored a season-high 20 points - 18 of them in the third quarter - and Bryant had 27 points and seven assists to help the Lakers beat the Orlando Magic 106-93 Wednesday night.

The Lakers picked up their third win on a tough six-game road swing that ends at Charlotte on Friday. Andrew Bynum also had 13 points in 13 minutes against the Magic.

``We can't be giving the Smush Parkers of the league quarters like that,'' Magic coach Brian Hill said. ``If it's Kobe it's different.''

Grant Hill had 20 points for Orlando, which has lost three straight. Jameer Nelson added 15 points and seven assists, and Dwight Howard had 12 points and eight rebounds.

The Magic still have one of the best records (17-13) in the Eastern Conference, but that might not last. Orlando has lost eight of its last 11 games.

``It's frustrating - we can't get a win at home,'' Howard said.

After scoring 15 points in the first half, Bryant virtually disappeared in the third quarter. He hit three free throws but missed all three field-goal attempts and didn't make a second-half shot from the field until a 3-pointer 1:17 into the fourth quarter.

The Lakers didn't need him. Parker scored nine points during a 14-3 run in the third quarter, and Brian Cook nailed a 3-pointer just before the period ended to give Los Angeles a 79-73 lead.

``We just ran our offense,'' Parker said. ``We executed our offense and I got open looks.''

The home-court sellout didn't help the Magic much. A smattering of central Florida's enormous transplant population turned out for the visiting Lakers, and those on the Magic's side sat quietly, cheering loudest for a goofy home video clip show.

It wasn't as if they didn't have anything to applaud. Nelson consistently made layups in the crowded paint, and fed Howard behind the back for a highlight-reel dunk. Trevor Ariza had eight points in a 12-4 run that put Orlando ahead 37-25 in the second quarter. But the Magic couldn't sustain any of their comfortable leads.

For the Lakers, it was a promising next step after stumbling in the league's showcase game on Christmas at Miami.

``We are getting better. It's just a matter of us growing,'' Bryant said.

Luke Walton and Kwame Brown each added 10 points for Los Angeles.

Orlando's Hedo Turkoglu had 12 points and five assists in his first game back since spraining his ankle Dec. 8 against Detroit. Darko Milicic had 13 points and eight rebounds, and Ariza finished with 11 points and six rebounds.

The Lakers cut a 12-point Magic lead in the second quarter to one by halftime, using a 7-0 run sparked by Keith Bogans' foul on Sasha Vujacic. In 1:45, Maurice Evans hit a 3-pointer, Vujacic made his two foul shots and Bryant drained a 19-foot jumper.

Notes: Los Angeles played its eighth straight game without Lamar Odom (sprained right knee ligament). Odom is the team's second-leading scorer and leading rebounder. ... The Lakers have won four in a row against Orlando. ... PGA pro Chris DiMarco was in attendance.


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