LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Kobe's still too much for the Clippers.
Bryant scored 37 points and had 10 rebounds as the Lakers
extended their domination of the Clippers with an 89-87 victory
Early on, the sellout crowd of 19,697 seemed to side with the
Clippers, who share the arena with the Lakers and were the home
team for the game.
By the fourth quarter, though, the building was rocking with
chants of "Kobe! Kobe!"
"It was a little bit of both," Bryant said of the crowd. "It
was hot and cold.
"I just love playing in high-energy places."
The game was close most of the way, with Bryant helping pull it
out by scoring nine points in a late 4:39 span.
"No. 8 (Bryant) was huge for us," said Lamar Odom, who added
19 points and 12 rebounds. "He made so many plays tonight with
guys in his face, and he can hit shots from anywhere."
Bryant finished 13-of-32 from the field, but was perfect on 10
shots from the line as the Lakers made all their 20 free throws.
The Clippers went 18-of-22 from the line.
Bryant missed making it three triple-doubles in a row, finishing
with five assists.
The Clippers had a chance to tie it in the final seconds, but
Corey Maggette's off-balance running jumper went in and out of the
basket after kissing the glass.
"I'm just totally upset, especially when it comes down where
you can tie the game and go into overtime," Maggette said. "You
have an opportunity to make the shot -- and it goes in and out."
The Lakers have beaten the Clippers five straight, including a
103-86 decision last month, and 28 of 31 dating to 1997.
Maggette scored 27 points, and Mikki Moore, getting his first
start for the Clippers, added 18 points and 14 rebounds.
Kerry Kittles, playing only his second game for the Clippers,
scored 15 points and had five assists in 31 minutes. Obtained from
New Jersey in an offseason trade, Kittles has been sidelined
because of complications from off-season knee surgery.
"The knee's pretty good. It's been pretty good the last week or
so, so I have no problem with that," Kittles said.
A Bryant jumper gave the Lakers a 61-51 lead 3 minutes into the
third quarter, but the Clippers chipped the difference down to
73-70 heading into the fourth.
"It was a good game," said Odom, formerly with the Clippers.
"It's always going to be a good game. They've got a lot of
athletes over there and they're well-coached.
"They've got a lot of scorers on that team and they play well,
but our zone slowed them down and gave them a different look."
Clippers C Chris Kaman, who had an emergency appendectomy
two days earlier, played six minutes and scored two points. He
brought a roar from the crowd with a behind-the-back dribble and
then a behind-the-back pass on a fast break just before halftime.
... The Lakers are 77-20 against the Clippers since the Clippers
moved to Los Angeles.