Too much Kobe Bryant, as the Nets fall to the Lakers, 92-83

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, NY -- In what may have been the biggest spectacle in Brooklyn this year -- even bigger than LeBron James and the Heat coming to town last week -- the Los Angeles Lakers were in town. but without the services of Dwight Howard, who was out with a shoulder injury.

That said, the atmosphere at the Barclays was alive, to put it lightly.

The Nets entered the night with a 17-0 record against teams under .500, but obviously this wasn't you're typical sub-.500 team. The two teams battled back and forth, with Brook Lopez playing one of his best games of the year on both sides of the ball (aside from an early struggle defensively against Gasol). Lopez led the Nets with 30 points and 10 rebounds, notching his 10th double-double of the season, but it was just too much Kobe Bryant.

Kobe, along with one of the dunks of the year, was just too much for the Nets down the stretch, scoring 21 points and leading the Lakers to a 92-83 win over the Nets.

Deron Williams seemed fired up early in this one, looking to push the pace and beat the Lakers out to the open court. Williams and Brook Lopez combined to score 18 first-quarter points, which matched the output of the entire Lakers team. The Nets carried a 24-18 lead into the second, after holding Los Angeles to 38.1 percent shooting in the first.

The Nets allowed the Lakers to even up the score, as they opened up the second quarter shooting 0-of-8 from the floor, against a Lakers second unit that was without Kobe, Steve Nash or Pau Gasol. Brooklyn's offense was atrocious for a 6-minute span. They couldn't distance themselves from a sub-par Lakers' unit.

And once Kobe, Gasol and Nash returned, the Nets already found themselves down by two points, 34-32. The Nets were awful throughout the quarter, shooting 6-of-23 from the floor, finding themselves down 49-40 at the half.

Brooklyn made a run early on the third, shaking off their second-quarter struggles. Reggie Evans provided a spark on the defensive side of the ball, but blocking Gasol for what may have been the defensive highlight of the game, while Johnson got going from downtown. Midway through the quarter, the Nets had pulled to within three, 57-54.

And after trading baskets, and answering each Kobe run, the Nets ended the third down by three points, 67-64.

Carlesimo had an interesting lineup in the end of the third with Wallace-Watson-Bogans-Humphries-Evans, opting to go defense-heavy. An interesting look, but one he didn't stick with very long. Williams and Lopez entered to start the fourth to give the Nets some offense.

The fourth quarter went back-and-forth, with the teams trading buckets early. Lopez, though, made a statement block on Kobe Bryant and helped push the offensive rhythm. It was back and forth, back and forth between Kobe and Lopez, with both players putting on a show.

However, late in the game, there was just too much Lakers for one man to contend with, as Los Angeles pulled away, winning 92-83.

For more on the Lakers, see: Silver Screen and Roll

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