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Late driving layup proves difference

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Kobe Bryant made certain he was with the
Los Angeles Lakers in spirit, bombarding his teammates with phone
calls throughout the day of their first game without him. Even at
halftime, the injured superstar was dialing their cell phones in
the locker room.

Lamar Odom definitely got Bryant's messages.

Moments after drawing a charge from Adonal Foyle, Odom made a
driving a layup with 1.3 seconds left, and the Lakers beat the
Golden State Warriors 104-102 on Saturday night for their second
straight win largely without the NBA's second-leading scorer.

Odom had 27 points and 12 rebounds, taking over Bryant's leading
role on both ends of the court while the Lakers rallied from a
nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter. He scored 24 points in
the second half with a singular resolve usually provided by Bryant.

"With Kobe out of the game, there's going to be more shots
available," said Odom, who went 11-for-26 -- his second straight
game with a season high in shot attempts. "It's just about making
the right shot. It's going to be like that while he's gone."

Odom stepped in front of Foyle's slow drive to the hoop with
12.6 seconds left, drawing the biggest foul of the night. Odom then
got the ball at the top of the key, drove past Cliff Robinson and
made a hanging layup to clinch Los Angeles' fourth victory in five
games.

"Before the game ... I said, `We have to get L.O. in a
situation, if the game's on the line, for him to make the
decision," coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "He just kept taking it
to the basket and finished a beautiful shot."

Chucky Atkins added 20 points as the Lakers weathered the
frantic final minutes and an inspired effort by Derek Fisher, who
scored a career-high 29 points against his former teammates. The
Warriors lost their ninth straight in front of their first sellout
crowd of the season.

Bryant went on the injured list after spraining his ankle in the
first quarter Thursday against Cleveland. Though he skipped the
trip, Bryant was glued to the television at home in Newport Beach --
and he bugged Caron Butler, among others, before the game and at
halftime.

"He was very happy everybody is playing well," said Butler,
who had 16 points. "We told him to get well soon."

The final three minutes featured three lead changes and
back-to-back 3-pointers by Mike Dunleavy, who had 21 points and
nine rebounds. Speedy Claxton had 15 points, but missed a desperate
jumper at the buzzer.

Troy Murphy had 14 points and a season-high 19 rebounds for
Golden State, but Jason Richardson missed his ninth straight game
since spraining his ankle in practice on New Year's Eve. Their
leading scorer's absence has been disastrous for the Warriors, who
were on a four-game winning streak when he went out -- but haven't
won since.

The Warriors knew Odom was capable of taking over the game, but
thought they had a strategy to slow him down. It worked for only a
half.

"We expected him to come out more aggressive in the second
half," Robinson said. He's their go-to guy. He needed a lot of
shots to get the points he did. I think we did a pretty good job on
him."

Warriors coach Mike Montgomery knew Odom would be trouble. He
tried to counter Odom's size with Foyle, but Odom roared past the
slower center while scoring 12 points in the fourth quarter.

"He's a hard matchup for us," Montgomery said. "I thought
Foyle could handle him. We had so many chances tonight, but we just
couldn't pull it out."

Fisher scored 19 points in the first half against the Lakers,
his employer during his first eight NBA seasons before joining
Golden State last summer. He clearly was fired up -- and got a
technical foul in the fourth quarter for shoving Atkins after a
collision.

Fisher hit a 3-pointer on the Warriors' next possession to give
them an 88-79 lead, then did a bigfoot walk to the other end of the
court in front of the Lakers' bench.

Rookie Sasha Vujacic made his first NBA start in Bryant's place,
scoring eight points.

Game notes
Los Angeles made just six turnovers. ... Bryant's absence
comes at perhaps the best possible time in Los Angeles' schedule.
The Lakers play their next nine games at Staples Center, including
a designated road game against the Clippers.