NEW YORK — Kobe Bryant would have liked to celebrate more, maybe gloat about a highlight-reel dunk, but there were bigger concerns.
Dwight Howard couldn’t start and Pau Gasol couldn’t finish. And in this difficult season for the Los Angeles Lakers, even the victories seem to come with losses.
“It feels good to pull out a win like this, but now reality kind of sets in," Bryant said. “If Pau can’t go and Dwight can’t go, we have to figure some things out."
Bryant had 21 points and eight rebounds, and the Lakers overcame the absences of Howard and Metta World Peace, and the loss of Gasol to beat the Brooklyn Nets 92-83 on Tuesday night.
Antawn Jamison, starting for the suspended World Peace (see Sports in Brief, C2), made the go-ahead basket during a closing 14-3 run for the Lakers. Howard missed his third consecutive game with a torn labrum in his right shoulder and Gasol, his replacement, went down with what was diagnosed as a strained plantar fascia is his foot.
Also on Tuesday:
DENVER — Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson each scored 22 points and Denver rallied past Milwaukee for its seventh straight victory.
INDIANAPOLIS — Paul George scored 29 points to lead Indiana to its 15th straight home win.
Golden State 109
HOUSTON — The Rockets tied an NBA record and set a franchise mark with 23 3-pointers in win over Golden State. Jeremy Lin scored 28 points for Houston.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Goran Dragic scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter to lead Phoenix to a win over Memphis.