Bryant shook off one of the poorer shooting performances of his career to drain the key shot for the Lakers, who used it to record their fourth win in six games.
The Los Angeles superstar connected on only three of his 21 shots from the floor during the contest, finishing with 11 points.
Gasol finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Andrew Bynum added 19 and 10.
Smith provided 17 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans.
Exploding whale video goes viral on Internet
Puzzle-maker slips 'Murdoch Is Evil' into Rupert Murdoch's Sunday Telegraph