Bryant out but Lakers beat the Blazers 99-82
Lamar Odom replaced an injured Kobe Bryant and matched his career high with 22 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers broke their nine-game losing streak at the Rose Garden with a 99-82 victory Saturday night over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Bryant sat out with a sore left ankle. The 12-time All-Star and last year’s NBA finals MVP had played in 235 straight games.
Odom also scored 10 points as the Lakers pulled away in the fourth quarter, leading by as many as 19 points.
Portland was again without All-Star guard Brandon Roy, who announced earlier in the evening that he would miss the next three games and the All-Star game to heal his sore right hamstring.
The Lakers had not won at the Rose Garden since Feb. 23, 2005. The victory snapped a three-game losing streak overall against the Blazers.
Bryant originally sprained his ankle in Philadelphia last week. He aggravated it during Wednesday night’s victory over Charlotte when Odom stepped on his foot.
Bryant had last missed a game on March 7, 2007, because of a suspension. He had not missed a game because of injury since Dec. 8, 2006.
The Lakers said he would be evaluated on Sunday.
Bryant, who is averaging 28 points, played the night before in the Lakers’ 126-113 loss to the Denver Nuggets. He had 33 points and nine rebounds.
Roy has missed 12 of the last 13 games. He was originally hurt in a Jan. 13 game against Milwaukee, then aggravated the injury on Jan. 20 at Philadelphia.
Roy, who leads the Blazers with 23.1 points per game, said at a news conference before the game that there was no formal timetable for his return.
The Blazers went up 39-30 in the second quarter, but the Lakers wouldn’t allow the margin to get any bigger.
Nicolas Batum’s 3-pointer prevented the Lakers from going ahead until Artest’s 3-pointer made it 48-46 with 1:07 left before the half.
Artest added a 30-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Lakers a 54-48 lead going into the break.
Artest’s layup put the Lakers up 65-55 midway through the third quarter, and Gasol’s dunk made it 73-64 to start the fourth.
The Lakers got a scare early in the game when Andrew Bynum left with a hip injury. He returned, but then sat out the second half. His condition was unclear.