Deron Williams scored 11 of his 15 points in the first quarter, helping the Nets to a 24-18 lead. The Nets missed a chance to open things up early in the second against the Lakers’ depleted second unit, then Los Angeles surged ahead once its starters returned.
Bryant’s follow shot capped a run of eight straight points as the Lakers grabbed a 49-37 advantage with 10.4 seconds to play in the half. Mirza Teletovic followed with a 3-pointer to make it a nine-point game at the break.
‘‘I thought we came out really well in that first quarter and then in the second quarter things kind of went south,’’ Williams said. ‘‘I don’t know why, I thought we were ready for this game, but proven wrong tonight.’’
Much of the trade focus around Howard during his final season in Orlando centered on the Nets, one of the teams his agent was permitted to negotiate with and the one that was believed to be Howard’s preference. The Nets could never put together an attractive enough package and they’re happy now with Lopez, headed to his first All-Star game next week.
He scored 12 in the final period, but the Nets had only seven other points.
NOTES: D'Antoni coached his first game with the Lakers in a 95-90 victory over the Nets on Nov. 20. ... Bryant, who’s had high assist totals lately, was asked earlier Tuesday if he would remain in distributing mode in the All-Star game, where he is the career scoring leader. ‘‘No, I'm seeing single coverage there. I'm shooting that (expletive),’’ Bryant said. ... The Nets haven’t beaten the Lakers since Nov. 25, 2007.