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Los Angeles at Toronto

Kobe puts on dunk show, turns in 46 as Lakers destroy Raptors

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Kobe Bryant gave the Los Angeles Lakers the perfect finish to a promising day.

Bryant scored 46 points to help the Lakers beat the Toronto Raptors 121-101 Friday night, hours after acquiring Pau Gasol in a trade with Memphis.

"We understood that this was a game that we had to get and we came out with a lot of energy," Bryant said. "That being said, I think everybody is a little excited about the opportunity that we have in front of us."

The Lakers gave up Kwame Brown, rookie Javaris Crittenton and two first-round draft picks to get Gasol, who will play center until Andrew Bynum (left knee) is ready to return.

Gasol will undergo a physical Saturday in Los Angeles and could make his Lakers debut Sunday at Washington. The former All-Star could make the Lakers one of the NBA's elite teams.

"We don't want Pau to have any pressure on him when he comes in," said forward Lamar Odom, who had 12 points and 10 rebounds. "We just want him to play his game any way he can. I'm pretty sure that will be easy for him.

"He's going to help us in every aspect," Odom added. "There's nothing he can't do."

There was little Bryant couldn't do against the Raptors, leaving the crowd gasping with six dunks, including one over Toronto's Carlos Delfino in the second quarter and a one-handed jam in the fourth.

"He's the best one-on-one player in the league, hands down," Toronto forward Chris Bosh said. "It makes it tougher on us to help because he wasn't really selfish with the ball tonight. He played a great game."

Bryant slapped hands with fans seated next to the Lakers' bench when he was subbed out with less than 30 seconds to play.

"We only come here once a year," Bryant said. "For some people, it's the only chance they get to see me. Sometimes it's the first time, so I want to make sure that I go out and put on a good performance."

Bryant shot 19-for-28, including 4-for-8 from 3-point range, and added seven rebounds and five assists.

"I was just reading the defense," Bryant said. "The fact that they were honoring our shooters made it easy for me to get to the basket and I just kept attacking. The times that they closed off the lanes, I kicked it out to our shooters and they were able to knock them down."

Sasha Vujacic added 22 points and Jordan Farmar had 13 for the Lakers, who came in having lost four of five, including a 90-89 defeat in Detroit on Thursday night.

"After losing in the fashion that we did (Thursday) night, being disappointed, we wanted to respond to that tonight," said guard Derek Fisher, who had 11.

Andrea Bargnani had a career-high 28 to lead Toronto in scoring for the second straight game.

"He's got that little look back in his eyes and he's starting to get his confidence back," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "The thing I like is that he didn't settle every time. He drove to the basket, had four dunks on drives over people and we need him to continue to do that."

Bosh had 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Raptors, who lost for the first time in seven games at home.

Jose Calderon finished with 17 points and Anthony Parker 12.

Toronto trailed 77-66 late in the third but fought back with two baskets from Calderon, a 3-pointer by Delfino and two free throws from Bosh.

Ronny Turiaf ended the run with a pair of free throws and a layup before Bryant ended the quarter with a fadeaway 3-pointer, sending the Lakers into the fourth with an 83-77 edge.

"They played great defense on that sequence," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "It was just a better offensive play."

Jason Kapono began the fourth with a jumper that cut the gap to four, but Bryant converted a three-point play and the Raptors never threatened again.

Notes

  • Bryant scored a career-high 81 points against Toronto on Jan. 22, 2006.
  • After trading Brown and Crittenton, the Lakers dressed Luke Walton (hip) to give them five players on the bench. Trevor Ariza (broken right foot) and Bynum did not dress.
  • This was the second game of a nine-game road trip for the Lakers, who will not play at home again until Feb. 19.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Kobe Bryant, who had a career-high 81 against Toronto on Jan. 22, 2006, goes for 46 north of the border.  (AP)
Kobe Bryant, who had a career-high 81 against Toronto on Jan. 22, 2006, goes for 46 north of the border. (AP)

Scoreboard
L.A. Lakers (29-16) «26302738121
Toronto (25-21) 23282624101
LAL:K. Bryant 46 Pts
LAL:L. Odom 10 Reb
LAL:L. Odom 8 Ast
TOR:A. Bargnani 28 Pts
TOR:C. Bosh 15 Reb
TOR:J. Dixon 6 Ast
Players of the Game
TorontoLos Angeles

C. Bosh

K. Bryant
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
221534675
Los Angeles
K. Bryant, SG4419-284-475246
V. Radmanovic, SF403-90-09546
R. Turiaf, PF364-81-26559
L. Odom, PF355-102-2108512
D. Fisher, PG245-140-002111
S. Vujacic, SG268-102-321022
J. Farmar, PG245-100-023213
D. Mbenga, C111-10-04012
C. Karl, SG10-00-00000
C. Mihm, CDid Not Play
T. Ariza, SFDid Not Play
L. Walton, SFDid Not Play
A. Bynum, CDid Not Play
P. Gasol, CDid Not Play
Totals 50-909-11402920121
 55.6%81.8% 
Toronto
C. Bosh, PF437-228-10153222
J. Calderon, PG408-120-045017
A. Bargnani, PF409-186-640328
A. Parker, SG334-112-343312
J. Moon, SG171-62-23114
C. Delfino, SG242-80-04426
J. Kapono, SF224-50-02028
J. Dixon, SG110-10-02600
R. Nesterovic, C102-20-03014
D. Martin, PGDid Not Play
M. Baston, SFDid Not Play
K. Humphries, PFDid Not Play
T. Ford, PGDid Not Play
J. Graham, SFDid Not Play
J. Garbajosa, PFDid Not Play
Totals 37-8518-21412214101
 43.5%85.7% 
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