Bryant sparks Lakers to big win over Nets

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EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Reuters) - Kobe Bryant scored 29 points and had 10 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers came from behind to register a 103-84 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday.

Bryant and Lamar Odom sparked an 11-0 run by the league-leading Lakers (21-4) to turn a one-point deficit into a 10-point lead in the third quarter.

"We had a couple days off so we were a little rusty," Bryant, who scored 13 points in the third quarter, told reporters.

"We picked up the play in the second half. Defensively we got our rhythm back, we got back in sync," said Bryant.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson blamed himself for the team being out of sync.

"I screwed up the game by playing a lot of guys; 11 guys in the first half," Jackson said. "(we got) some rest for the guys who had to play back-to-back and got ourselves ready to play the second half.

"Came out and played the kind of game we had to play."

Odom, Pau Gasol and Jordan Farmar each contributed 14 points for Los Angeles. Gasol also had 14 rebounds and Odom 12.

Devin Harris had 21 points and Chris Douglas-Roberts 20 for the Nets, who have lost seven games in a row and have the NBA's worst record this season (2-26) after starting with a league-record 18 consecutive losses.


"New Jersey gained a little more confidence and the guys that were out there were playing well," Bryant said. "We didn't want it to go any further so I kind of took over."

Interim Nets coach Kiki Vandeweghe said he was pleased with his team's performance despite the loss.

"They competed every play and went out and got good shots," Vandeweghe said.

"I think in the second half you saw why the Lakers are one of the best teams in the NBA. But I must say, our guys kept playing and got any shot they wanted. ... we just went cold and couldn't convert."

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina. Editing by Peter Rutherford and Julian Linden)