Lakers vs. Kings: In-game report
Lakers 109, Kings 108 (final)
Kobe Bryant did it again.
If it sounds like a broken record, it's a good sound to Lakers' fans.
Bryant drilled a three-pointer as time expired to give the Lakers a one-point victory of Sacramento tonight at Staples Center.
Bryant, who had 39 points on 13-for-27 shooting, stood in front of the Kings' bench and raised his arms as the fans chanted "MVP." It was Bryant's third game-winning shot of the season.
The Lakers quickly are learning that the Sacramento Kings are no pushovers. A week ago, it took two overtimes for the Lakers to defeat the Kings in Sacramento.
It might not be the rivalry it was earlier this decade when Los Angeles and Sacramento played tough, intense games in the regular season and in the playoffs.
But what the Lakers and Kings have done in their first two games against each other this season has been pretty good.
Shannon Brown had a three-pointer rattle in and out with 8.9 seconds left, and when the ball went out of bounds off Pau Gasol, the Kings led, 108-106.
But Ime Udoka left the door open for the Lakers when he missed two free throws with 4.8 seconds left.
The Lakers called a timeout with 4.1 seconds left.
Bryant took care of the rest.The Lakers had finally gotten back into the game, cutting a 20-point deficit to two points, forcing the Kings to call a timeout with 7:20 left in the fourth.
Adam Morrison leaped off the bench and began to wave a white towel. The fans responded by standing and cheering the same Lakers they had booed earlier in the game.Kings 86, Lakers 79 (third quarter)
If the Lakers were going to slice into Sacramento's 20-point lead, they had to play better defense.
If the Lakers were going to catch up to the Kings, they had to give a better effort.
With Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom leading the way in the third quarter tonight at Staples Center, the Lakers made their move.
Bryant had 16 points in the third and Odom added 12 to help the Lakers cut their deficit to single digits.Kings 64, Lakers 49 (halftime)
The fans weren't happy, expressing themselves by booing the Lakers early in the second quarter.
They had watched the Lakers fall behind by 15 points. They had watched the Lakers give up the first 10 points in the second quarter and they were not happy.
The Lakers weren't playing good defense. The Lakers didn't look motivated. It would only get worse for the Lakers later in the second.
They fell behind by 20 points before they suddenly realized the Kings were serious.
Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher were a combined four-for-21 shooting from the field.
Meanwhile, Omri Casspi (13 points) and Beno Udrih (13 points, seven assists) worked the Lakers over.
The Kings made 62.8% of their shots in the first half. The Kings shared the basketball, handing out 20 assists on 27 made field goals.
Kings 28, Lakers 23 (first quarter)
If the Lakers thought it was a fluke what the Kings did the first time the two teams met last week, L.A. has to figure otherwise at the moment.
The Kings made 56.5% of their shots in the first quarter tonight at Staples Center. They had 13 made field goals, 12 off assists.
Rookie Omri Casspi had 11 points in the first quarter for the Kings, missing just two of his seven shots. Beno Udrih had six assists.
The Lakers' backcourt of Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher shot a combined two for 12 in the first quarter.
With 5:32 left in the first, the Kings had shredded the Lakers defense, getting inside for layup after layup.
The Kings had scored eight of their 15 points in the paint by the halfway mark of the quarter. The Kings did it by back-cutting and then finding the open man, to the tune of seven assists on their first seven made field goals.Pregame
When the Lakers played the Sacramento Kings last week, it took two overtimes for Los Angeles to pull out a victory.
The Lakers face the Kings again tonight, this time at Staples Center.
The Lakers learned how competitive the Kings are. Sacramento gave the Lakers problems by keeping the lane open, which allowed its guards to get inside for layups.
Rookie point guard Tyreke Evans will not play tonight because of a sprained right ankle, so that is one less player for the Lakers to have to deal with.
But Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said Kings reserve guard Beno Udrih gives them problems and is someone the Lakers have to be prepared for.
Lakers forward Ron Artest will miss his fourth consecutive game recovering from a concussion.
Artest might not be ready to play when the Lakers host the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.-- Broderick Turner