Indiana at Los Angeles

Lakers run away from Pacers in third quarter, roll to victory

CBSSports.com wire reports
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LOS ANGELES -- Kobe Bryant is searching for his shooting touch five games into a return from injury. He still found a way to score, though.

Bryant had 24 points, hitting 14 of 15 free throws, and the Los Angeles Lakers pulled away with a dominating third-quarter run for a 122-99 victory against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.

"I'm not trippin'," Bryant said. "As long as I get good looks. Like tonight it felt good, some of them just didn't go in. I got to the free throw line 15 times, the last time that happened I don't even know. That's kind of how you get your rhythm back, get to the free-throw line."

Andrew Bynum added 16 points and Pau Gasol had 14 points and 16 rebounds for the defending NBA champions, who fell behind early before improving to 14-0 against the Pacers at Staples Center.

Jordan Farmar scored 19 points, including 10 in the fourth, when he ran the offense while Bryant rested his myriad of injuries.

The Lakers won their third in a row heading into a stretch of three road games in four days, capped by a Sunday contest at Orlando, where they won the NBA title in June.

"On the road, it's a different style of play, a different game entirely," Bryant said. "We can't take the game we played here at home and take it on the road, kind of have to adjust it a little bit. On the road, you really have to execute."

Troy Murphy had 17 points and 13 rebounds, Dahntay Jones scored 16 points, Josh McRoberts had 15 and Earl Watson finished with 10 assists for the Pacers. They dropped to 7-24 on the road and have lost eight of their past 10 overall.

"They dominated the inside and they got one of the two greatest players in the world on the perimeter and the rest of the cast isn't that bad," Indiana coach Jim O'Brien said. "That's why they're the world champions."

Bryant nearly matched his career average of 24.9 points against Indiana, though most of his offense came at the line. He was only 5 for 14 from the field, missing all four of his 3-point attempts.

"He felt like his outside game wasn't going well so he had to take the ball to the basket," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "You have to take care of yourself when you go to the basket a lot, especially when you're injury prone. He found a way to play, which is very admirable."

Bryant hit a 21-foot fadeaway to beat the halftime buzzer, keeping Los Angeles ahead 60-54.

That momentum carried into the third, when the Pacers closed to 62-61 before the Lakers took over. They went on a 35-10 run that produced a 98-71 lead heading into the fourth.

Derek Fisher's 3-pointer gave the Lakers the game's first double-digit lead, 75-65. Ron Artest and Lamar Odom hit consecutive 3-pointers, then Shannon Brown made back-to-back 3s before Farmar capped the burst with a fast-break slam dunk.

The Pacers dissolved in a series of miscues, with their seven turnovers leading to 10 points. Bynum and Brown came up with big blocked shots, too. Indiana's offense broke down, with the Pacers making 7 of 20 shots in the quarter.

"They made good adjustments in the second half on offense and defense," Watson said. "We never could counter quick enough in order to stay in the game."

Fans began pouring out of Staples with nearly six minutes remaining. During a timeout, Odom and Gasol gazed at the overhead scoreboard checking out other NBA scores. Bryant spent the rest of the game on the bench along with the other starters.

After trailing most of the opening quarter, the Lakers got a boost from Brown, Farmar and Adam Morrison in the second. Their early scoring put the Lakers back in front, and Gasol and Bryant kept them there with eight points apiece.

Still, the Pacers were better at the line and from 3-point range in the first half, with Murphy already exceeding his scoring average by the break.

Notes

  • The Pacers haven't beaten the Lakers in Los Angeles since Feb. 14, 1999, when the Lakers still played at the Forum.
  • The Lakers' 14-0 mark at Staples includes three playoff victories against Indiana.
  • Los Angeles reached 100 points for the first time since defeating Golden State 104-94 on Feb. 16.
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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Andrew Bynum has 16 points as the Lakers improve to 14-0 against the Pacers at Staples Center.  (AP)
Andrew Bynum has 16 points as the Lakers improve to 14-0 against the Pacers at Staples Center. (AP)

Scoreboard
Indiana (20-40) 2826172899
L.A. Lakers (46-15) «27333824122
IND:T. Murphy 17 Pts
IND:T. Murphy 13 Reb
IND:E. Watson 10 Ast
LAL:K. Bryant 24 Pts
LAL:P. Gasol 16 Reb
LAL:L. Odom 7 Ast
Players of the Game
Los AngelesIndiana

P. Gasol

T. Murphy
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
1416317132
Indiana
T. Murphy, PF316-133-3132317
B. Rush, SG315-70-040112
D. Granger, SF302-94-60529
E. Watson, PG241-40-001013
R. Hibbert, C226-120-260512
D. Jones, SG298-150-043216
T. Ford, PG244-70-03508
J. McRoberts, PF237-121-241415
M. Dunleavy, SF202-72-25207
A. Price, PG60-10-01000
T. Hansbrough, PFDid Not Play
S. Jones, PFDid Not Play
J. Foster, CDid Not Play
L. Head, PGDid Not Play
Totals 41-8710-1540281899
 47.1%66.7% 
Los Angeles
P. Gasol, PF336-112-2163014
K. Bryant, SG305-1414-1546124
R. Artest, SF285-90-004111
A. Bynum, C276-84-580316
D. Fisher, PG243-80-01329
J. Farmar, PG248-100-013019
S. Brown, PG225-100-054112
L. Odom, PF221-32-22715
A. Morrison, SF153-80-02216
D. Mbenga, C83-60-03116
J. Powell, PF60-00-01010
S. Vujacic, SGDid Not Play
L. Walton, SFDid Not Play
Totals 45-8722-24433312122
 51.7%91.7% 
Other Games
Bos 105 Final
Det 100
GS 106 Final
Mia 110
Sac 107 Final
OKC 113