Lakers guard Kobe Bryant loses the ball after it is knocked away by Houston… (George Bridges / MCT )
Reporting from Houston -- The Lakers lost to the short-handed Houston Rockets, 107-104, disintegrating in the final few minutes and failing to overcome Andrew Bynum's ejection Tuesday at Toyota Center.
The Lakers led, 97-88, after Pau Gasol's jump shot with 5:01 to play, but Houston went on a 12-0 run and never trailed again.
Kobe Bryant had 29 points but made only 10 of 27 shots as the Lakers fell to 9-15 on the road.
Bynum had a short night, getting ejected with 1:10 left in the third quarter. He was awaiting a free-throw attempt by Marcus Camby when he was hit with a technical foul, his second of the game, apparently for expressing dissatisfaction with the refereeing.
Bynum picked up his first technical foul while complaining loudly about a non-call with 7:34 left in the first quarter.
After the ejection, Bynum kept smiling as he high-fived teammates on the bench and a handful of fans in courtside seats before walking slowly across the court to the locker room. He finished with 16 points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes.
He was missed by the Lakers, undoubtedly.
Houston (25-22) played without starting guards Kyle Lowry (bacterial infection) and Kevin Martin (sore right shoulder). Point guard Goran Dragic had 16 points and 13 assists, including a three-pointer from the left side to give the Rockets a 104-101 lead with 28 seconds left. Luis Scolaand Courtney Leeeach had 23 points for the Rockets.
Ramon Sessions came off the bench and had 14 points and four assists in 29 minutes for the Lakers (28-18).
The Lakers held a 15-point lead after scoring 40 points in the first quarter, their most in any quarter this season. In fact, the Lakers led by 17 in the second quarter but went into the locker room at halftime with a 56-51 lead.
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Lakers fall apart in end, lose to Houston, 107-104