LOS ANGELES – Kobe Bryant scored 21 points in three quarters and the Los Angeles Lakers led all the way in defeating Utah 120-91 Tuesday night, handing the Jazz their season-worst fifth straight loss.
Pau Gasol added 20 points, Andrew Bynum had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Lamar Odom scored 17 off the bench for the Lakers, who won their seventh in a row at home.
Deron Williams scored 17 points and C.J. Miles added 14 for Utah, which has lost its last nine against the Lakers at Staples Center. The Jazz went 0-5 on their road trip, including losses to four teams from the East.
The Lakers had the game in hand after the first quarter, when they shot 72 percent from the floor, hit all three of their 3-pointers and went 8 of 10 on free throws while building a 17-point lead.
Los Angeles stretched its lead to 28 points in the second quarter, leading 66-38 at the break largely on the efforts of its bench. Odom, Steve Blake, Shannon Brown and Luke Walton played most of the minutes, while Bryant, Gasol, Ron Artest and Derek Fisher got some much-needed rest.
The Jazz shot 14 of 43 in the first half, when the Lakers had more rebounds, assists, steals and fewer turnovers.
The Lakers' lead reached 33 points in the third, with Bryant hitting two free throws to make it 88-55 before leaving the game for good. The Jazz got no closer than 27 in the period.
Joining Bryant on the bench in the fourth to chat and watch both the game and the crowd were Artest, Bynum and Fisher.
Odom provided the final quarter's highlight, tossing up a high-arcing jumper with a sideways glance before sailing out of bounds and into the crowd while getting fouled. Bryant got on his feet to applaud. Brown drew an even louder reaction when he careened in for a fast-break dunk only to miss. No matter, though, the Lakers were up by 38 and he just smiled.
Notes: The Lakers notched their NBA-leading eighth wire-to-wire win of the season, one more than last season. ... Bryant needs 13 points to pass Hakeem Olajuwon for eighth on the NBA's career scoring list. His next chance comes at home Friday against Sacramento. ... Los Angeles evened the season series 1-1, having lost at Utah on Nov. 26. ... The Jazz are 3-19 against the Lakers at Staples Center since the building opened in 1999.