Kobe Bryant scored 18 of his 24 points in the third quarter, Pau Gasol added 22 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers won their third game in four days out of the All-Star break, beating the weary Los Angeles Clippers 108-95 Friday night.
Andrew Bynum had 16 points and 11 rebounds in another breezy win for the Lakers, who had lost three straight before co-hosting the All-Star weekend with their cross-hallway rivals.
Bryant went to the locker room two minutes before halftime after hurting his right elbow. The All-Star game MVP returned with a monster third quarter, outscoring the Clippers all by himself.
Randy Foye scored 24 points while hitting five 3-pointers for the Clippers, who finally finished an 11-game road trip with nine losses.
Blake Griffin had 22 points and 10 rebounds as the Clippers wrapped up the longest road trip for any NBA team this season — a trip that's thought to be the second-longest in league history.
Clippers rookie Eric Bledsoe struggled in place of traded point guard Baron Davis, managing just eight points on 2-for-11 shooting and eight assists.
Griffin had another high-energy game in the same arena where he jumped over a car last weekend, but couldn't stop the two-time defending NBA champions from leaping past them in the second half.
Bryant went to the Lakers' bench grimacing after fouling Foye on a 3-point attempt with 3:03 left in the first half, and he went to the locker room after a brief chat with trainer Gary Vitti.
But Bryant led an 11-2 run in the third quarter with four jumpers, including a 3-pointer that put the Lakers up 76-62. Bryant was relentless, getting two more baskets in the final seconds and making a final dunk just after the buzzer sounded.
Bryant and Gasol took the fourth quarter off, getting plenty of rest for Sunday's road showdown with revamped Oklahoma City.
Bryant also got hit on his left hand while getting fouled by Foye in the first quarter. He has played through numerous hand injuries in recent years, including an arthritic finger that bothered him last season.
After spending most of the month away while the Grammys and the All-Stars occupied Staples Center, the Clippers will play their first home game since Feb. 2 on Saturday night — but it's against the Boston Celtics, giving them back-to-back games against both defending conference champions to cap a stretch of four games in five days after the break.
What's more, new Clippers Mo Williams and Jamario Moon were in the building, but they can't play until Davis takes his physical in Cleveland to complete Los Angeles' trade with the Cavaliers.
NOTES: The Lakers have won two of three against the Clippers. Their season series ends next month. ... Clippers G Eric Gordon said he hopes to play next week, but isn't certain when he'll suit up again. The 24.1-points-per-game scorer has been out since Jan. 25 with a sprained right wrist and a small broken bone in the same joint. ... The Clippers have won nine of their last 10 home games. ... Fans near courtside included Steve Carell, Heather Locklear, Dr. Drew Pinsky and director Adam McKay.