EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., March 27 (UPI) -- Pau Gasol
made up for Kobe Bryant
's off night, scoring 36 points Friday and carrying the Los Angeles Lakers to a 103-95 win over New Jersey.
The Lakers clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference by winning their fifth in a row and eighth out of nine games.
It was the 727th game as Lakers head coach for Phil Jackson, moving him one in front of Pat Riley for the most in franchise history.
Gasol added 11 rebounds while Derek Fisher added 18 points. Bryant, who averages 27 points a game, made just 5-of-19 shots from the field and scored 14.
New Jersey lost its third straight and fell four games out of the final playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Vince Carter led the Nets with 20 points.
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