Pacers Top Lakers 95-92 in 1st Road Win at Staples

Pacers Top Lakers 95-92 in 1st Road Win at Staples

Published November 29, 2010

LOS ANGELES – Roy Hibbert had 24 points and 12 rebounds, and Kobe Bryant scored 41 points but missed two tying 3-point attempts in the final seconds of the Indiana Pacers' first victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center, 95-92 Sunday night.

Danny Granger added 18 points for the Pacers, who followed up their surprising road win over Miami six days ago with an even more stunning victory. Indiana had lost 11 straight to the Lakers on the road since Feb. 14, 1999, shortly before Staples Center opened.

Bryant scored 23 points in the second half as the two-time defending champions rallied back from a 15-point deficit in the second half, pulling to 93-92 on Pau Gasol's free throws before Hibbert dunked in traffic with 16.4 seconds left.

Bryant missed a good look at a tying 3-pointer and another chance from well behind the line right before time expired.

Darren Collison scored 14 points for the Pacers, who have stayed competitive despite their obvious lack of offensive firepower this season by playing stellar defense. Only Utah has held opponents to a lower field-goal percentage this season than Indiana and the Lakers, which had both allowed 43.1 percent shooting entering the game.

Pau Gasol had 13 points and 12 rebounds while getting outplayed by Hibbert down low, and Lamar Odom added 15 points and 11 rebounds in the Lakers' second straight loss after a five-game winning streak.

Los Angeles' home streak against Indiana was its longest against any opponent, but the Lakers dropped to 8-2 at home. The Pacers opened a four-game road swing with just their fifth road win over the Lakers in 38 trips.

Bryant scored 15 consecutive points for the Lakers to close the third quarter, and the Lakers chopped Indiana's lead to five points with a 13-3 run into the fourth. Indiana held the Lakers to one basket in the next five-plus minutes, but Ron Artest hit a 3-pointer with 2:43 left to trim the Pacers' lead to 89-86.

The Pacers traded baskets with Bryant until Brandon Rush missed a 3-pointer and Gasol hit two free throws with 34.1 seconds left. Gasol then lost track of Hibbert down low, and the center slammed home his final points.

Gasol played 45 minutes and Odom logged 40 in the first of four games in six days for the Lakers, whose enviable depth is being tested early due to the slow recovery of center Andrew Bynum from offseason knee surgery.

Before the game, coach Phil Jackson expressed his strongest concerns yet about his frontcourt depth, saying Gasol's heavy minutes — a team-leading 38.7 per game heading into Sunday — are his biggest concern about the first month of the season. Jackson also lamented the Lakers' inability or unwillingness to bring in a backup center to replace injured Theo Ratliff.

"I guess it's just not in the cards," Jackson said. "There are some things we can't do."

Bynum felt fine after participating in a few half-court drills with the Lakers during Saturday's practice, but Jackson still has no idea when his starting center will be ready to play. Bynum said he hoped to return in three weeks, but Jackson doesn't know where Bynum got his timetable.

"We had hoped it would be three weeks about three weeks ago," Jackson said. "It's not just a simple operation, and whether this is successful or not, we don't know. He's still struggling."

Notes: Lakers rookie Devin Ebanks didn't play while battling the flu, leaving Los Angeles with just 11 players in uniform. G T.J. Ford played for Indiana despite a similar illness. ... Fans near courtside included Anthony Kiedis and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stedman Graham and Arsenio Hall.

Written by GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer


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