LOS ANGELES -- After the arduous and challenging road trip the Lakers had recently completed against four of the best teams in the Western Conference, a visit from the lowly Seattle SuperSonics couldn't have come at a better time -- especially without a day off in-between.
Kobe Bryant scored 23 points, seven of his teammates also finished in double digits on Friday night, and Los Angeles remained on top of the Western Conference standings with a 130-105 rout of the club with the second-worst record in the NBA.
Luke Walton scored all of his 17 points in the fourth quarter to tie a season high, while Bryant, Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher and Ronny Turiaf all spent the final 12 minutes on the bench. Odom had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Every Lakers starter scored in double digits, and the team is 14-1 when that happens.
Los Angeles went 2-2 on a trip that began with losses to New Orleans and Houston and concluded with victories against Dallas and Utah -- two teams that were a combined 58-8 at home before the Lakers arrived. The Lakers beat the Jazz 106-95 on Thursday.
"I didn't see any effects from last night's ballgame," Bryant said after the Lakers sent the Sonics to their 10th consecutive loss and completed a sweep of the four-game season series. "Everybody is in great condition, and this morning at the shootaround, everybody was energetic and ready to go. I think we've been coming out with great focus and energy."
The Lakers never trailed in their sixth consecutive victory against the Sonics. They shot 61 percent from the field, converted Seattle's 16 turnovers into 24 points, and finished with a season-high 36 assists on 51 field goals.
"We are sharing the ball, making sure everybody touches it and putting guys in positions where they can be successful," Turiaf said. "It's so much easier for us to score on other teams because they can't just focus on Kobe or Lamar."
Center Pau Gasol, who sprained his left ankle during the opening game of the road trip, missed his fourth consecutive contest. The signing of 33-year-old forward Ira Newble to a 10-day contract Friday enabled coach Phil Jackson to dress 11 players and fortify a roster further handcuffed by lengthy injuries to Andrew Bynum, Trevor Ariza and Chris Mihm.
"I think we're the front-runners," said Jackson, who is two victories away from his 14th 50-win season as an NBA coach and his sixth with Los Angeles. "I mean, if we had a healthy roster, I'd be much more comfortable saying that. But at this point, given our schedule, I think we have a real good opportunity."
"My message to our young guards, Sasha and Jordan, is that we're investing these minutes in them the rest of the season so that they can give us this great boost of energy and surge that we get from them off the bench," Jackson said. "If pressure is going to take them out, we're going to have a problem in the playoffs. So we need to see them perform, regardless of what the competition is."
Rookie Kevin Durant had 20 points for the Sonics, a year and three days after his Texas Longhorns were bounced from the NCAA tournament with an 87-68 loss to USC in the East Region. He averaged 19.8 points and shot 38.4 percent (28-for-73) in the four games against the Lakers -- missing 20 of 26 shots against them in an overtime loss on Jan. 14 at Seattle.
"I need to continue to expand my game and work hard at practice and before practice to help this team out," said Durant, who has played in all but two of Seattle's 69 games. "All in all, I think I'm getting a little more efficient with my shots, learning how to get shots and improving on the defensive end."
This is the first time in the franchise's 41-year history that the Sonics have had two double-digit losing streaks in the same season. They began their first season under coach P.J. Carlesimo with eight consecutive losses, then dropped club-record 14 in a row from Dec. 31 through Jan. 27.
Seattle (16-53) would have to win eight of its final 13 games to avoid matching the team's worst record ever, which was set during the inaugural 1967-68 season. The Sonics have lost eight straight on the road and 19 of the past 21 away from KeyArena. They have only one victory in their past 15 games overall, beating Minnesota in overtime on March 2.
- Gasol was on the floor before the game, shooting the ball and doing some activity drills. But Jackson doesn't expect him to be ready for the Lakers' home-and-home set with the Golden State Warriors on Sunday and Monday.
- The Lakers swept a season series from Seattle for the first time since 1989-90 (4-0).
- Seattle's next victory will be Carlesimo's 200th as an NBA coach.