Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Pau Gasol scored 26 points and pulled down eight rebounds and the Los Angeles Lakers overcame a rough offensive night for Kobe Bryant to beat New Jersey, 120-93, at the Staples Center.
The reigning MVP was limited to 12 points on 5-of-17 shooting, but Bryant also had six rebounds in less than 28 minutes of court time.
Jordan Farmar had 18 points off the bench for the Lakers, who used superior bench play to move their record to 12-1, their best start since winning 16 of their first 17 to begin the 2001-02 campaign. LA's bench outscored the New Jersey reserves, 56-19. Lamar Odom had 13 points and Sasha Vujacic added 10 in roles off the bench for the Lakers.
Andrew Bynum had 15 points for the Lakers, who shot 50.6 percent from the field and outscored New Jersey 64-39 in the second half.
"We came out and played a stellar second half," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson. "We were kind of feeling each other out in the first half. In the second half, we got our defense in order."
Devin Harris scored 21 for the Nets, who had a two-game win streak broken. Vince Carter was limited to 14 points. Brook Lopez totaled 17 points and 10 boards in defeat.
"We were tied at 66 and then we started to settle for jump shots," said Nets coach Lawrence Frank. "Their bench was huge. We lost our way a little bit and couldn't respond to their runs."
Yi Jianlian's two free throws tied the game at 66 for the Nets with seven minutes left in the third quarter, but the Lakers responded with an 11-2 run to take control. Bynum and Bryant had jams to start the spurt, which ended on a Vladimir Radmanovic three-pointer.
The Lakers carried a 90-76 lead into the fourth quarter and continued to pull away with a 15-2 flurry to start the period. Trevor Ariza's jumper culminated the push for a 105-78 difference with nearly eight minutes left.
New Jersey led by seven early in the first quarter, but was ahead only 28-24 after 12 minutes. The Lakers held a 56-54 edge at the half.