NBA: Lakers roll to easy win over short-handed Hornets

LOS ANGELES — Andrew Bynum scored 21 points, Kobe Bryant added 18 on a light night of work and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the New Orleans Hornets 110-99 Tuesday for their seventh straight victory.

Ron Artest scored 16 points as the Lakers remained undefeated in six games since the return of Pau Gasol, who had 14 points in Los Angeles’ balanced offense.

The Lakers moved in front of Phoenix atop the Western Conference by taking another big first-half lead and coasting to their NBA-best 11th home victory. Seven players scored at least seven points while Los Angeles beat New Orleans at Staples Center for the second time in 24 days.

Former UCLA star Darren Collison scored 20 points for the Hornets, who lost their fifth straight road game. New Orleans has the NBA’s second-worst road record at 1-9, only ahead of the 0-11 New Jersey Nets, and is winless on the road since beating the Clippers at Staples Center on Nov. 9.

Emeka Okafor added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Hornets, who played again without All-Star point guard Chris Paul and forward Peja Stojakovic. Paul still has a seriously sprained left ankle, while Stojakovic missed his second straight game to deal with a family member’s illness.

The Lakers overpowered New Orleans last month with solid bench play and Bryant’s low-post scoring, which more than made up for the injury absences of Bynum and Gasol in a 104-88 win. Los Angeles is nearly at full strength now, and its bulky front line was too much for the depleted Hornets.

The Lakers extended the NBA’s longest current winning streak with yet another strong second quarter. Los Angeles made a 21-4 run that included 10 straight points during the period, rolling to a 23-point lead.

While New Orleans is struggling on the road, the Lakers don’t even know what kind of road team they are. Thanks to a curious early-season schedule, the defending champions have played 13 of their first 17 games at home, and they’ve still got four more games left at Staples Center on this six-game homestand.

New Orleans might have improved its defense after Sunday’s embarrassing 16-point loss at Sacramento, but the Lakers’ outstanding ball movement still generated plenty of open shots. Four Lakers scored in double figures in the first half, with Fisher getting six assists.

Los Angeles again concentrated on low-post play against the undersized Hornets, with Bynum often scoring easily against Okafor. The Lakers had made more than 60 percent of their shots late in the third quarter.


Knicks 126, Suns 99

NEW YORK — Danilo Gallinari had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and the New York snapped a five-game losing streak and gave its coach a resounding victory over his old team.

David Lee added 24 points, and Al Harrington had 22 for the Knicks, who rang up a season-best 71 first-half points, then blew it open when Gallinari scored seven points in a span of barely a minute midway through the third quarter.

Steve Nash had 20 points and eight assists for the Suns (14-4), who came in with the NBA’s best record. They had won four straight by an average of 21.3 points.

It was a sweet victory for Mike D’Antoni, who rode his high-scoring offensive system to an average of 58 wins in his four full seasons in Phoenix before he and the Suns parted ways after a first-round loss to San Antonio in 2008.

He hasn’t been nearly as successful with an inferior roster in New York, where he coached his 100th game Tuesday and recorded just his 36th victory.

Celtics 108, Bobcats 90

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Ray Allen broke out of his shooting slump with 27 points, Kendrick Perkins added 21 points and 12 rebounds and Boston cruised past the Bobcats for its fifth straight victory.

Led by Allen, the Celtics had little trouble slowing the Bobcats, who had won four straight. Entering shooting 30 percent from 3-point range, Allen took only nine shots, but hit 5 of 6 3-pointers, including one from behind the plane of the backboard with 1 second left to give the Celtics a 62-39 halftime lead.

Charlotte never recovered as Gerald Wallace scored just five points after getting into early foul trouble. Nazr Mohammed had 16 points for the Bobcats, who entered giving up a league-low 87.9 points a game.

Wizards 106, Raptors 102

TORONTO — Antawn Jamison had 30 points and 12 rebounds, Gilbert Arenas had 22 points and nine assists for Washington.Caron Butler scored 19 points, and Brendan Haywood had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Wizards, who have won three of four.

Chris Bosh had 22 points and 14 rebounds, Andrea Bargnani had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Jose Calderon added 20 points for the Raptors, who have lost four straight and eight of 10.

Jarrett Jack had 18 and Hedo Turkoglu scored 13 for the Raptors.

Arenas had been held below 10 points in each of his past two games, the first time he’d failed to score at least 10 in back-too-back games since his rookie season in 2002.

Nuggets 135, Warriors 107

DENVER — Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points, Chauncey Billups had 22 and the Nuggets used their biggest scoring first half of the season to pull away from short-handed Golden State.

Nene (18 points) and Chris Andersen (14) were among seven Denver players scoring in double figures, helping the Nuggets finish with a season high for points.

Anthony Morrow’s 27 points led the Warriors. Vladimir Radmanovic added a season-high 17 for the Warriors, who fell to 2-8 on the road.

Up by 14 at halftime, the Nuggets extended their lead to 107-84 by the end of the third quarter.

Heat 107, Trail Blazers 100

PORTLAND, Ore. — Michael Beasley scored a season-high 27 points, Dwyane Wade had 18 points and 12 assists and Miami led from the start.

Beasley was 8 of 15 from the field and 11 of 12 for free throws as the Heat (10-7) ended a two-game losing streak. Quentin Richardson scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Miami. The Heat shot 53.3 percent from the field (40 of 75).

Portland, which shot .391 (34 of 87), lost its third consecutive game. The Blazers (12-8) were playing without forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who has a right knee contusion.