Kobe and Lakers blow out Knicks on home floor
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Los Angeles Lakers shut down the high-energy New York Knicks to power to their fourth straight victory in a 109-87 triumph on Sunday.
Kobe Bryant had 27 points and 10 rebounds while Pau Gasol added 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers (27-11), who held New York to its second lowest point total of the season.
The Knicks, who entered the game averaging a league-best 108.1 points per game, shot just 36 percent from the field as they had their three-game win streak snapped.
"We played good team defense and took them out of their comfort zones," Lakers forward Lamar Odom told reporters after finishing with 13 points and 18 rebounds.
"We just tried to play hard tonight and play a tough game. We were able to do that and get the win."
Los Angeles led by six points at halftime but stretched its lead to 16 in the third quarter, where Bryant began things with consecutive three-pointers.
The Knicks trimmed the lead to eight early in the fourth but went long stretches without scoring in the final period where they tallied just 17 points and fell far behind.
Amare Stoudemire had 23 points and 10 rebounds, but made just 7 of 24 shots, and Wilson Chandler added 19 for New York (21-15).
The Knicks were playing the second of a four-game Western Conference road trip and had demolished Phoenix 121-96 on Friday.
New York has emerged as a threat this season after signing Stoudemire in the summer but they still have not beaten the Lakers since 2007.
Los Angeles dominated inside with a 61-42 rebounding advantage and controlled a physical and sometimes testy contest.
Lakers center Andrew Bynum scored 18 points before he was ejected with two quick technical fouls early in the fourth where he protested a foul call.
"I have no idea (why I was ejected). I guess he felt like I showed him up and he T'd me up," said Bynum, who is showing continued improvement since returning last month following knee surgery. "I'm getting back in a rhythm and feeling pretty good."
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Alastair Himmer)
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