Losing is becoming all too common for the New Jersey Nets.
They continued the trend by dropping a 100-88 contest to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Nets have now lost nine of their last 10 games and seven straight on the road. The Lakers, meanwhile, have won nine of 10 and have swept the season series against the Nets.
Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic returned to the Staples Center for the first time as Nets and scored 12 and 17 points, respectively. Farmar was presented with his 2010 championship ring by Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant in a pregame ceremony.
An interesting matchup in this game was Lamar Odom against Kris Humphries. Both have been coming off the bench for their respective teams, and both are involved with a Kardashian sister. Kim and Khloe were on hand for the game to see Odom finish with 14 points and 11 rebounds and Humphries with 6 points and 15 rebounds.
The last time these teams met, the Lakers won a thriller in Newark. Bryant wanted that win badly, and it showed with his play late in the game.
Derrick Favors took a beating early in this one. He was poked in left eye fighting for a loose ball then hit the deck hard after driving to the rim. He was sent back to the locker room for evaluation but later returned.
The game was slow paced early on, but the teams began trading baskets back and forth. Brook Lopez had the hot hand early for New Jersey, scoring 13 points in the first 11 minutes.
Bryant picked up right where he left off against the Nets and scored 13 points of his own in the early going. The Nets, however, led by two after the first quarter.
The second quarter opened with the pace of play picking up and both teams jacking up long range shots. The score remained close though as the Nets were able to keep up with the Lakers.
But the Lakers gained steam late in half and opened a nine-point lead as Pau Gasol and Ron Artest began heating up. Los Angeles led 45-40 at the break.
Kris Humphries continued his beastly play on the glass as he pulled down nine rebounds in the first half.
Lopez scored the first four points of the second half to cut the Laker lead to three. Los Angeles responded with a 7-0 run led by Bryant and Gasol to retake a nine-point lead.
The Nets tries valiantly to keep pace, but every time they made a clutch basket, the Lakers would answer at the other end. After three quarters, Los Angeles led by seven.
Farmar and Vujacic finally got hot in the fourth quarter against their former mates, especially from downtown. New Jersey closed to within two points with seven minutes remaining.
However, a 9-0 Laker run sealed the victory for Los Angeles. The Nets showed some late fight, but it was not enough against the mighty Lakers.
Lopez had a huge game and finished with 35 points on 13-of-19 shooting. It was the third time this year Lopez has scored at least 30. But 27 points from Bryant, 20 from Gasol and 14 from Odom proved too much for New Jersey.
The Nets are in action again Saturday night as they head to Portland to battle the Trailblazers.