Kobe Bryant scores 29 to lead Lakers to 2nd straight win, 98-92 over Rockets, minus Howard

Kobe Bryant had 29 points, Wesley Johnson made key free throws down the stretch and the Los Angeles Lakers took advantage of Dwight Howard's absence Wednesday night in a 98-92 victory over the Houston Rockets.

It was the second consecutive win for the Lakers following a 1-9 start.

Los Angeles used a 7-1 run, highlighted by Bryant's three-point play and capped by four free throws from Johnson, to take a 94-92 lead with less than a minute left. Nick Young and Bryant added two free throws apiece to secure the victory.

Tarik Black, a rookie who was filling in for the injured Howard, missed a free throw and a jump shot down the stretch.

James Harden led the Rockets with 24 points.