Kobe Bryant scored 19 points and tied a season high with 14 assists despite a nagging left foot injury, and the Los Angeles Lakers kept...
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Kobe Bryant scored 19 points and tied a season high with 14 assists despite a nagging left foot injury, and the Los Angeles Lakers kept pace for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot by outlasting the Sacramento Kings 103-98 on Saturday night.
Bryant added nine rebounds and facilitated the Lakers’ offense for 48 minutes after Steve Nash exited early in the first quarter with a recurring right hamstring injury. Bryant also passed Lakers great Wilt Chamberlain (31,419 points) for fourth on the NBA’s career scoring list, after starting four points shy of the mark.
Dwight Howard added 24 points and 15 rebounds, and Steve Blake scored 15 points for the Lakers (38-36), who stayed even with Utah (38-36) for the eighth and final playoff spot.
Tyreke Evans had 21 points and nine rebounds for Sacramento.
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With Bryant engineering the offense, Los Angeles showed some of its best ball movement of the season.
Still, when Bryant hit 1 of 2 free throws to put the Lakers ahead 101-98 with 24 seconds remaining, Sacramento had a chance.
Cousins missed on a pair of three-point shots and Bryant made two free throws to seal the win.
Percentages: FG .463, FT .654. Three-point goals: 10-30, .333 (Blake 5-8, Meeks 3-8, Clark 1-4, Jamison 1-4, Duhon 0-1, Morris 0-1, Bryant 0-4). Team rebounds: 10. Team turnovers: 7 (6 PTS). Blocked shots: 7 (Howard 5, Clark 2). Turnovers: 7 (Howard 4, Blake, Bryant, Duhon). Steals: 9 (Bryant 2, Clark 2, Meeks 2, Gasol, Howard, Morris). Technical fouls: Defensive three second, 10:12 first.
Percentages: FG .453, FT .813. Three-point goals: 7-24, .292 (Salmons 3-7, Thomas 2-4, Thornton 2-7, Evans 0-1, Cousins 0-2, Patterson 0-3). Team rebounds: 7. Team turnovers: 12 (13 PTS). Blocked shots: 2 (Patterson, Salmons). Turnovers: 11 (Evans 4, Cousins 3, Hayes, Salmons, Thomas, Thompson). Steals: 1 (Salmons). Technical fouls: Defensive three second, 9:18 first; Defensive three second, 4:45 second; Cousins, 3:17 second.
|L.A. Lakers||25||28||29||21 — 103|
|Sacramento||37||20||18||23 — 98|
Attendance: 17,317 (17,317). Time: 2:12. Officials: Derrick Stafford, Nick Buchert, Zach Zarba.