LA Lakers beat Portland 104-87; Bryant scored 27, Howard has double-double

LOS ANGELES (Sporting Alert) The Los Angeles Lakers bounced back from the defeat in Denver with a 104-87 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center on Friday night.

Kobe Bryant, who sat out the fourth quarter of the game, scored a game-high 27 points in the win for the Lakers, but saw his consecutive game streak of scoring at least 30 points snapped at 10 games.

Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, who pull in large LA Lakers salaries, combined for 36 points and 23 rebounds.

After being ejected in the last game, Howard returned to collect a double-double of 21 points and 14 rebounds and Gasol added 15 points, nine boards, five assists and three steal for the Lakers (15-15), which picked up its sixth win in seven outings.

“When he plays hard, it really takes a toll on the other team at both ends of the floor,” Steve Nash, who had 10 assists and eight points said of Howard’s performance.

“We’re obviously still a new team,” Nash added. “It’s new to me. I’m new to the offense.

“We’re trying to figure it out. I think we’re growing more and more cohesive, but I’ve got a long way to go.”

LaMarcus Aldridge paced Portland with 26 points on 12-of-17 shooting, before leaving the game with a “sternal contusion”.

Will Barton and Damian Lillard each had 11 apiece in the defeat for Portland (14-14), which shot just 15.8 percent from the field after hitting just three of its 19 3-point attempts.

Portland was without shooting guard Wesley Matthews, who missed his third consecutive game because of a left hip flexor strain.

Meanwhile, Lakers veteran Antawn Jamison, who was once as a vital part of the Los Angeles team, did not see the floor for the fourth straight game on Friday.

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