Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 3)

Series starts 11/24

Game 1: Thursday, November 24th
Game 2: Sunday, March 12th
Game 3: Friday, March 31st

SuperSonics 96

(5-7, 2-5 away)

Lakers 108

(5-6, 3-3 home)

7:30 PM ET, November 24, 2005

STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

1 2 3 4 T
SEA 19 32 20 2596
LAL 24 19 36 29108

Top Performers

Sea: R. Lewis 32 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk

LAL: L. Odom 23 Pts, 12 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

Bryant, Odom lead Lakers past SuperSonics

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- An off-night for Kobe Bryant at the offensive end turned into an on-night in a hurry.

His defensive effort on Ray Allen was exceptional until the outcome was decided.

Bryant scored 29 of his 34 points in the last 18 minutes, and the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers rallied for a 108-96 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Thursday night.

"Once he got hot, we really focused on riding that energy that he had," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.

Bryant had only five points before making a 3-pointer with 5:48 remaining in the third quarter. Then, he scored nine points in the last 1:33 of the period to spark an 11-4 run that gave the Lakers a 79-71 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Bryant kept it going as the final period began, scoring his team's first seven points capped by an off-balance jumper as the shot clock expired, making it 85-76. The Sonics didn't pose a serious threat after that.

Bryant, who shot 2-of-16 from 3-point range in the first 10 games of the season, made 4-of-5 from beyond the arc in this game.

Allen, the Seattle star averaging 24.6 points per game, scored all but seven of his 19 points in the fourth quarter. Most of them came after the Lakers had clinched the victory.

"The defense was more fun, more challenging," Bryant said. "Scoring the ball is pretty much like breathing to me. Defense, I really take a lot of pride in."

Said Allen: "He took a lot of our weak-side stuff away. I don't know how many times I shot the ball in the first half, but I thought we played good team basketball, and I was happy with that. In the third and fourth quarter he stepped his defense up, but offensively we didn't get anything going and I thought they got more confidence."

Lamar Odom added 23 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for the Lakers. Brian Cook had season-high totals of 17 points and seven rebounds in a career-high 38 minutes in his first start of the season. Smush Parker scored 16 points, and Chris Mihm added 12 for Los Angeles.

"The most satisfying thing is my mother was here to see me play, the first time she's seen me play at Staples Center," Cook said. "That was real gratifying for me."

The Lakers (5-6), who won for only the second time in seven games, committed only one turnover in the second half, when they outscored the Sonics 65-45.

"We knew (Bryant) was going to come out firing (after halftime)," Sonics coach Bob Weiss said. "He is a great player, he's shooting fadeaway 3s and making them and I can't fault us there. I thought the third quarter just killed us."

The Lakers outscored the Sonics 36-20 in the third period to overcome an eight-point halftime deficit and go ahead for good. Los Angeles won decisively despite playing without injured forwards Kwame Brown, Devean George, Slava Medvedenko and Luke Walton.

Rashard Lewis led the Sonics (5-7) with 32 points. Vladimir Radmanovic added 13 points and Mateen Cleaves scored a season-high 11 for the Sonics.

Seattle led 51-43 at halftime, and 57-55 before Bryant finally got it going. He wound up shooting 12-of-26 after a 2-for-9 start.

"It felt good tonight. It felt in rhythm," he said. "I felt like it gave us a good energy boost when we needed it. I think everybody fed off that energy and we went from there."

Bryant fouled Allen twice early in the game, putting him on the bench for last 8:11 of the first quarter. The Lakers led 9-2 when he left, then gave up seven quick points to Allen before outscoring the Sonics 15-10 for a five-point lead entering the second quarter.

With Lewis scoring 13 points, the Sonics dominated the second period, outscoring the Lakers 32-19 for their eight-point halftime lead.

Game notes

The Lakers played on Thanksgiving for the first time since 1980. They are 13-3 in Thanksgiving games. ... The Sonics played on Thanksgiving for the first time in 32 years. They are 2-5 in such games. ... The Los Angeles Clippers and New Jersey Nets played on Thanksgiving at Staples Center each of the past four seasons. ... Cook started in Brown's place. It was his third start in 118 career games. ... The Sonics played without forward Danny Fortson, sidelined because of an injured right big toe. ... The Sonics won three of the four games between the teams last season and are 11-10 against the Lakers since the start of the 2000-01 season. ... Walton, who hasn't played this season because of hamstring and hip injuries, said before the game he hopes to make his season debut in Sunday night's game against New Jersey.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 96 108
FGM-FGA 33-79 (.418) 37-84 (.440)
3PM-3PA 12-29 (.414) 10-20 (.500)
FTM-FTA 18-24 (.750) 24-34 (.706)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-40 15-45
Assists 19 21
Turnovers 17 9
Steals 2 6
Blocks 2 2
Fast Break Points 7 7
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (0/0) 23 (0/0)
Largest Lead 10 17

Top Performers

Los Angeles
Rashard Lewis Lewis
Points: 32
Reb: 5
Ast: 2
Stl: 0
Blk: 1
Lamar Odom Odom
Points: 23
Reb: 12
Ast: 6
Stl: 2
Blk: 0