Kobe, Lakers ease past Durant, Thunder

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by Matt Mitchell

Bio | Email | Follow: @MattM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on January 27, 2013 at 11:42 PM

 Kobe Bryant made all the big passes. Steve Nash scored important points down the stretch.Pau Gasol excelled off the bench as the new-look Lakers calmly maintained a fourth-quarter lead on the mighty Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

Bryant had 21 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds, Nash added seven of his 17 points in the final 5 1/2 minutes, and the Lakers held off the NBA-leading Thunder 105-96 Sunday.

Gasol scored 16 points in a reserve role as the Lakers picked up the most impressive victory of their thoroughly unimpressive season, coolly maintaining a small lead down the stretch of their second straight win after a four-game skid.

With Bryant taking on a playmaking role, Nash stepping up his offensive game and Dwight Howard preaching togetherness, the 19-25 Lakers are cautiously optimistic their latest reboot will work -- and even the Thunder were impressed.

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