LOS ANGELES (AP) – Pau Gasol scored 23 points, Kobe Bryant added 16 while playing on a sprained left ankle, and the Los Angeles Lakers roared away in the second half for their 10th win in 11 games, 97-84 over the Orlando Magic on Monday night.
Andrew Bynum had 10 points, a career high-tying 18 rebounds and four blocks as the two-time defending NBA champions opened a seven-game homestand with another impressive post-All-Star effort.
The Lakers (48-20) also drew virtually even with the Dallas Mavericks (47-19) for second place in the Western Conference standings.
Dwight Howard had 22 points, 15 rebounds and nine turnovers — four more than the entire Lakers squad — for the Magic, who shot poorly in the second half of this 2009 NBA finals rematch.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)