Lakers put spell over Wizards


WASHINGTON, January 27 – Pau Gasol had 26 points and 10 rebounds and Kobe Bryant added 26 points as the Los Angeles Lakers ended a modest losing streak by rolling over the Washington Wizards 115-103 on Tuesday.Lamar Odom finished with 15 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers who blew the game open in the second quarter.

The Lakers shot 59 percent and forced a half dozen turnovers during their second-quarter run.

"We did our share of turning the ball over in the first quarter," said Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson. "The second quarter was our quarter."

Jackson pulled Bryant out of the game in the fourth quarter but says he had to throw him back in because their lead was starting to slip away.

"That second unit was struggling with shots so I had to rush Kobe back into the game to preserve it."

Centre Andrew Bynum had 12 points and Shannon Brown added 11 for the defending league champion Lakers, who met with US President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday.

Lamar Odom said meeting President Obama was inspirational.

"It gave us energy and focus," Odom said. "We needed game like this after two losses in a row.

Antawn Jamison led Washington with 27 points and nine rebounds, while Caron Butler contributed 18 points and eight rebounds.

Mike Miller scored 15 points and Brendan Haywood and Randy Foye scored 11 points apiece. Washington lost the final four games of a six-game homestand.

Heading into the game, the Lakers had lost six of eight on the road and had won two and lost two halfway through their current eight-game road swing.

The Lakers go into Indiana Wednesday to play the Pacers where Shannon Brown says they have to keep the intensity up because they still have four games left on the trip.

"We just have to stay focused, stay confident and come out and play Laker basketball. We have to execute on both ends of the court," Brown said.

The Wizards were playing without guard Javaris Crittenton who received probation Monday after pleading guilty in a US court to a misdemeanor gun charge, the latest fallout from last month’s locker room confrontation between Crittenton and teammate Gilbert Arenas.