Lakers vs. Nets: L.A. adds to New Jersey's misery
The Lakers, behind Kobe Bryant's 30 points and Pau Gasol's 20 points, defeated New Jersey, 106-87, Sunday night at Staples Center.
The Lakers and Nets are going in two different directions.
The Lakers have won six consecutive games.
New Jersey, on the other hand, has lost 17 games in a row to start the season, tying the record shared by the 1999 Clippers and the 1998-99 Miami Heat for the most consecutive losses to open a season.
The Nets will break the record on Wednesday night when they play host to the Dallas Mavericks.
The Lakers left no doubt in this game, opening a 34-point lead at one point.
Jordan Farmar had 15 points for the Lakers. Bryant finished with eight rebounds and seven assists. Gasol had nine rebounds and seven assists.Lakers 87, Nets 60 (third quarter)
It was as if the Lakers toyed with the Nets, doing whatever they pleased in extending their lead over winless New Jersey to 87-60 at the end of the third quarter.
When Kobe Bryant threw a lob pass to Pau Gasol for a layup that gave the Lakers a 30-point lead, the Nets called a timeout.
That did no good.
The Lakers clamped down on defense, which led to a three-pointer by Ron Artest.
By the end of the third quarter, Bryant had 30 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and five fouls.
Gasol had 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists through three quarters.Lakers 59, Nets 34 (halftime)
Of all the Lakers, it figured that Kobe Bryant would be the one not to look past the horrible New Jersey Nets.
Bryant scored 23 points in the first half, helping the Lakers open a 59-34 lead over the winless Nets at halftime.
He also had five rebounds and two assists.
The only negative for the Lakers in the first half was Derek Fisher picking up three fouls.
Otherwise, it was mostly a breeze.
The Lakers built a 27-point lead in the second quarter and never let up.Lakers 27, Nets 12 (first quarter)
You could say the Lakers started slow, falling behind 8-5 against the winless New Jersey Nets.
But you certainly couldn't say the Lakers stayed in the slow lane, nor did they take the Nets for granted.
The Lakers opened a 17-point lead in the first quarter tonight at Staples Center en route to a 27-12 lead over the Nets entering the second.
The highlight came late in the quarter, and it was provided by Jordan Farmar.
After Rafer Alston took off down court for what looked liked a break-away layup, Farmar chased him down and blocked his shot just before time expired to close out the quarter.Pregame
The New Jersey Nets entered Sunday night's game against the Lakers at Staples Center having lost 16 consecutive games, one loss shy of tying the mark held by the 1999 Clippers and 1998-99 Miami Heat for most defeats to start a season.
Because of their bad start, the Nets fired Coach Lawrence Frank before the game Sunday.
Even with all that, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson didn't want his team to overlook the Nets.
"You get an idea that the team you're playing against is not up to your standards, you put yourself in a position where you can lose," Jackson said.
The Lakers have won five consecutive games.-- Broderick Turner