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Monday, March 29, 2010

Lakers bounce back to cool off Rockets

HOUSTON (AP) The Los Angeles Lakers were happy with their bounce-back win over the Houston Rockets on Saturday night after an ugly loss to Oklahoma City a night before even if coach Phil Jackson wasn't overly impressed.

News photo
Strong to the hole: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant goes up for a shot against the Houston Rockets during their game on Saturday in Houston. AP PHOTO

Pau Gasol scored a season-high 30 points and the Lakers beat the short-handed Rockets 109-101. Houston, playing without Kevin Martin and Shane Battier, stayed with the Lakers early, but was simply outmanned and faded in its fourth consecutive loss.

"It was real good," Kobe Bryant said. "We really wanted to come out and play well especially after the showing we had last night."

Jackson was disappointed that his team let a 20-point lead at the end of the third quarter dwindle to single digits in the fourth.

"I told them I'm not happy with the win, but we won the game," he said. "We get outscored 32-20 in the fourth quarter. You don't want to finish a game like that."

The Lakers used a 20-0 run in the last six minutes of the second quarter to take a commanding lead and didn't trail after that en route to their eighth win in nine games.

"Those last minutes of the second quarter gave us the lead and gave us momentum to kind of put them away," Gasol said. "I was glad to see that ending of the half because we don't do that very often."

Los Angeles had no trouble bouncing back after its 91-75 loss to the Thunder when it scored its fewest points of the season and shot just 39 percent from the field.

The Lakers surpassed that point total by the five-minute mark of the third quarter after a jump shot by Bryant. It didn't hurt that they shot better than 57 percent against Houston.

Mavericks 111, Warriors 90

In Oakland, Calif., Rodrigue Beaubois scored a career-high 40 points and Dallas beat Golden State to snap a two-game losing streak.

Beaubois made nine of 11 3-pointers, was 15-of-22 overall from the field and made his only free throw. The guard from Guadeloupe had 26 points in the first half.

Jazz 103, Wizards 87

In Washington, Mehmet Okur had 22 points and 11 rebounds and Utah beat the Wizards, extending their team-record losing streak to 15 games.

Deron Williams had 20 points and 12 assists for the Jazz, and Carlos Boozer added 22 points — hitting all eight of his second-half shots — and 10 rebounds.

Trail Blazers 112, Hornets 101

In New Orleans, Brandon Roy scored 28 points and Portland eliminated the Hornets from playoff contention with its 10th win in 12 games.

Roy hit 11 of his first 12 shots, only two of them layups. He finished 12-of-14 in 32 minutes. LaMarcus Aldridge added 24 points.

Darren Collison had 22 points for New Orleans on 10-of-10 shooting.

Bulls 106, Nets 83

In Chicago, Jannero Pargo scored a season-high 27 points, and Taj Gibson had a career-high 22 points and added 13 rebounds for the Bulls.

Terrence Williams led New Jersey with 16 points. The NBA-worst Nets were coming off consecutive victories.

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