NBA Game Summary - LA Lakers at Sacramento
(Thursday, December 16th)
Final Score: LA Lakers 115, Sacramento 99
Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant tallied 31 points, 12 assists and six rebounds to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 115-99 victory over the Sacramento Kings at ARCO Arena.
Lamar Odom added 22 points for the Lakers, who have won three of their last four. Brian Cook contributed 12 points and seven boards in the victory.
"We played extremely well tonight," Bryant said. "From the opening tip, everybody was very focused."
Lakers center Vlade Divac, in his second tour of duty with Los Angeles, played against his former team at ARCO for the first time since re-joining the Lakers in the offseason. Divac spent six seasons with the Kings and played just three scoreless minutes in the victory.
Chris Webber and Bobby Jackson both led the way with 20 points for the Kings, who lost for just the second time in their last nine and saw a three-game home winning streak halted in the opener of a five-game homestand.
The Lakers held a six-point lead, 55-49, coming out of the locker room for the second half. However, LA poured it on in the third quarter and outscored the Kings by a 37-22 margin to take control.
Leading 73-61, Caron Butler hit a long baseline jumper. Brad Miller then answered on the other end, but Chris Mihm drained a three-pointer to keep LA ahead with a sizeable edge, 78-63.
The lead was furthered when Bryant completed a four-point play. He hit a three-pointer from the top of the key and made the ensuing foul shot for an 81-66 advantage with 3:30 to play in the key stanza.
Soon after, Butler connected on a pair of free throws after a hard foul inside to make it 85-68 with under two minutes to go. When Cook nailed a trey at the buzzer that closed the quarter, the Lakers led 92-71 and essentially put the game away.
The Lakers did not let up in the final frame, and Bryant continued his stellar night with a three-pointer near the six-minute mark for a 106-87 lead and LA cruised to the easy victory.
"We needed a big win on the road - we haven't had one of those in a long time," Bryant added. "To come in here against a team like Sacramento, it was a very big win for us."
The Lakers stopped a three-game slide at Sacramento, but the Kings have still won four of the last six meetings overall in this series...This marked just the second home loss on the season for the Kings (9-2), whose other defeat at ARCO came against Minnesota on November 28...The Lakers, who shot 12-of-26 from beyond the arc, improved to 5-6 on the road in 2004-05...This was the second meeting of the season between these intrastate rivals. Sacramento took the first, a 109-106 victory at the Staples Center.
12/17 01:18:00 ET