The Associated Press
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – On a night that Kobe Bryant tossed up an air ball with his first shot, sprained his right ankle and finished 5-of-19 from the field, the Los Angeles Lakers still showed why they are the top playoff seed in the Western Conference.
Bottom line — there’s more to the Lakers than Kobe.
Pau Gasol had a season-high 36 points and 11 rebounds, and the Lakers (58-14) guaranteed the road to the Western Conference championship will run through downtown Los Angeles with a 103-95 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Friday night.
Derek Fisher added 18 points and Lamar Odom had 12 points and 11 rebounds in Phil Jackson’s record-setting 728th game as the Lakers’ coach.
n Cavaliers 107, Timberwolves 85: LeBron James scored 25 points and Mo Williams added 22, leading the Cavs (59-13) to their 11th straight win.
n Knicks 103, Hornets 93: Al Harrington scored 23 points, David Lee added 18 points and 11 rebounds, and New York snapped a six-game losing streak.
n Celtics 99, Hawks 93: Boston rested Kevin Garnett, but showed off its depth as Glen Davis filled in with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Ray Allen led Boston with 22 points.
n Magic 110, Bucks 94: The Magic (54-18) have won five straight and 12 of their last 14 and stayed percentage points ahead of Boston for the Eastern Conference’s second seed.
n Raptors 112, Thunder 96: Chris Bosh had 21 points and 13 rebounds, and Shawn Marion added 20 points and 11 rebounds for Toronto.
n Nuggets 103, Mavericks 101: Carmelo Anthony made three free throws and a tough layup in traffic in the final 43 seconds, capping a 43-point performance .
n Spurs 111, Clippers 98: The Big Three were reunited and led the way as Tony Parker scored 18 points, Manu Ginobili14 points and Tim Duncan 13.
n Bobcats 100, 76ers 95: Boris Diaw scored 24 points for the Bobcats, who won for the first time in five road games.