Bryant scored 28 points and Antawn Jamison added 19 against Oklahoma City, but Los Angeles looked lost and overmatched in its third straight game without Howard and Gasol.
The Thunder eliminated Bryant and the Lakers from last season's playoffs in five games, and Los Angeles has shown few signs of being able to compete with the defending conference champions this season. Injuries aren't the only problem, but Howard likely is out for at least another week with a shoulder injury, while Gasol still hasn't been cleared to return from his concussion.
"We're just very frustrated and upset about what we're going through right now, and how we're playing," Bryant said. "We're going to have to make some big adjustments if we're going to be successful. We gave up about 120 points tonight, and a lot of them were just layups and easy looks at the rim."
Steve Nash had seven points and seven assists in a quiet 30 minutes for the Lakers, who announced during the second quarter that backup big man Jordan Hill likely needs season-ending surgery on his left hip. Metta World Peace added 12 points, going 1 for 9 on 3-point attempts.
"We showed some fight, but we just were a little overmatched," Nash said. "They're bigger than us at almost every position. Kevin got hot, and we couldn't contain him in the second quarter. As the game wore on, I just think the difference in depth and quality took over."
NOTES: Before the game, Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, announced they've called off their divorce proceedings. Vanessa Bryant filed for divorce in December 2011. ... The teams meet again at Staples Center on Jan. 27. Oklahoma City also visits to face the Clippers on Jan. 22. ... Charlize Theron, Adam Sandler, Robin Thicke, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Mehmet Oz and Chad Johnson watched the game from courtside.