Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Lamar Odom barely missed a triple-double, finishing with 17 points, 19 rebounds and nine assists, as the Los Angeles Lakers beat Houston, 88-79, on a milestone night for Kobe Bryant.
With his 22-point performance, Bryant moved past Patrick Ewing (24,815), into sole possession of 15th place on the league's scoring list. Bryant has 24,837 and has his eyes set on ex-Laker Jerry West (25,192), who is 14th on the list.
"The pace was much slower tonight," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "We were able to finish this game better than I expected. Lamar had great energy and it was a good game for Andrew. He was able to find holes in the lane."
Former Rocket Ron Artest returned from a five-game absence due to a concussion and had seven points and seven rebounds in the fourth straight win for the Lakers, who are a league-best 28-6. That includes a 20-3 home mark, with one of those losses coming to the Rockets on November 15.
"We had our chances to win in the fourth quarter, but we didn't finish plays," Houston coach Rick Adelman said.
Shane Battier hit a pair of three-pointers during an 8-0 Houston spurt, getting the visitors within 73-71 with 3:55 left.
The Lakers, though, later built a three-point lead to seven thanks to a jumper from Bryant and a Bynum hook shot. That made it 80-73 with 2:11 left.
A runner from Brooks had Houston within 81-77 with 1:06 to go, but Bryant stuck the dagger, a short running jumper with 48.3 seconds left.
The Lakers built an early 20-8 lead and carried that to a 22-15 cushion moving to the second. The margin reached 12 in the second, but Houston made a late push and was within six before trailing 41-33 at the half. It was 59-55 LA going to the fourth.
Artest suffered his concussion on Christmas Day after tripping over a box and falling down a set of stairs...Gasol missed the first 11 games this season - including both previous meetings with Houston - with a strained right hamstring...The Rockets, who are 10-11 on the road, will finish their current three-game trek in Phoenix on Wednesday...The Lakers play the Clippers on Wednesday.