NBA Game Summary - LA Lakers at Sacramento
(Sunday, April 6th)
Final Score: LA Lakers 114, Sacramento 92
Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant scored 21 of his 29 points in the second half and the Los Angeles Lakers pulled away from a scrappy Sacramento squad with a 114-92 victory.
Bryant also added five boards and five assists to help the Lakers stay within 1 1/2 games of New Orleans for the top spot in the Western Conference. LA, which sits tied with San Antonio for the No. 2 seed, received 21 points and 14 rebounds from Vladimir Radmanovic. The sharp-shooting forward hit 5-of-8 from behind the arc in the win.
Pau Gasol finished with 20 points and nine boards, while Lamar Odom and Sasha Vujacic chipped in 16 and 14 points, respectively.
Sacramento fell for the first time in five games, as Kevin Martin led the Kings with 22 points. Ron Artest, who returned to the starting lineup after a thumb injury, logged 19 points, and Sheldon Williams came off the bench to net 12.
Bryant turned it on in the game-changing third quarter. With the Lakers up by six, the MVP candidate opened the half with a jumper and two three-pointers in a 14-4 spurt.
Artest answered the rally with a three-ball of his own, but the Lakers' terrific ball movement led to open shots all over the court. On a nice pass from Odom, Bryant popped in his 14th point of the half to give LA a commanding 76-56 lead with six minutes left in the quarter.
All 15 of the Lakers' field goals in the 36-point third quarter were accompanied with an assist, and the Kings faced a tough 87-69 deficit heading into the final stanza.
A Williams jumper cut the Lakers' lead to 12 with just over five minutes to play, but Bryant took control again by hitting a jumper, sinking two free throws and driving a nail in the coffin with a three-pointer in just two and a half minutes.
The flurry put the Lakers up by 22 and the Kings not no chance at a comeback.
"We ran out of gas," Martin said. "They came in here with some rested legs. We played a hard fought game last night with only seven or eight players. Can't always say that it's an excuse but you can just tell we ran out of gas tonight."
The Kings led 27-23 after the first but only hit four field goals in the following quarter. Jordan Farmer converted a three-point play to begin the second and the Lakers jumped out to a 39-33 lead after a pair of free throws from Bryant capped a 16-6 run.
Several minutes later, Radmanovic drilled a three-pointer to make it a 10- point Lakers lead, and the Kings fought back to trail 51-45 at the intermission.
Los Angeles is 26-13 on the road this season, while Sacramento is 24-14 at home...Luke Walton sat out the game with a strained right hamstring...The Lakers had 26 assists on 41 field goals...Los Angeles had a 46-33 advantage on the boards...The Lakers shot 52.6 percent from the field, while Sacramento hit 41.8 percent...The Lakers were also 12-of-22 from behind the arc, where the Kings connected on just 5-of-18.
04/07 00:56:17 ET