Lakers Ride Comeback Wave vs. Kings
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 18 (Ticker)
-- After playing three quarters worthy of their second consecutive loss, the Los Angeles Lakers remembered they were at home.
Shaquille O'Neal overwhelms Lawrence Funderburke and the Kings once again.
Catherine Steenkeste/NBAE/Getty Images
NBA.comTV highlights from Kings-Lakers:
had 28 points and 15 rebounds and Rick Fox
scored 12 of his season-high 16 points in the second half as the Lakers rallied and avoided their first losing streak of the season with a 93-85 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
Los Angeles was unbeaten before losing Friday in Phoenix and played sloppily for three quarters in its return home. But the two-time defending NBA champions mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter to improve to 6-0 at the Staples Center.
The Lakers trailed, 72-64, with 11 minutes left when O'Neal scored four points during a 12-3 run. He failed to make two crucial free throws during the stretch, but rookie Stanislav Medvedenko gave Los Angeles a 76-75 lead on a follow shot with 5:44 left.
The Lakers never trailed thereafter and made 10-of-10 free throws in the final two minutes to seal the victory. They nailed it shut with 1:05 left when Fox recorded one of his seven assists on a thunderous dunk by Kobe Bryant, who had 29 points and eight assists.
Peja Stojakovic scored 25 points and former Laker Vlade Divac had 15 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists for Sacramento, which had a three-game winning streak snapped.
Mike Bibby scored 12 points and Doug Christie added 11, but the Kings' duo combined to make just 6-of-21 shots.
Sacramento's offense was terrible, shooting just 37 percent (32-of-85) and making only 1-of-19 three-pointers.
"We were just trying to take them out of their rhythm," Bryant said. "It seemed like they were hitting everything but their threes."
The Lakers were not much better, shooting just 40 percent (36-of-90), including 3-of-16 from behind the arc.
The teams combined for just 34 points in the first quarter, with the Kings scoring seven of the final nine points to take a 19-15 lead entering the second.
"Both of us played a pretty sorrowful game in the first half shooting wise," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson.
The Lakers never led in the second despite receiving 12 of their 16 points from O'Neal.
"He doesn't like the Sacramento Kings," Fox said. "The middle was a little soft tonight and we went to him and he delivered."
Sacramento closed the first half on an 11-2 run to build a 44-35 halftime advantage. Stojakovic scored seven straight points during the burst on a layup, two jumpers and a technical free throw.
"Even though it was an ugly first half for us, we had some positive things we knew we could take advantage of," Bryant said. "We just had to relax. Fox came out and started playing more aggressive and hitting shots."
The Kings led by 10 three times in the third quarter and had a 60-50 cushion with 4:37 left when Fox nailed his only 3-pointer to spark a 14-4 spurt.
Fox completed a three-point play during the run and made a layup before Lindsey Hunter scored on a layup to tie it, 64-64, with 70 seconds left.
"When you go 1-for-7 in the first half, something's got to be around the corner sooner or later," said Fox, who made 5-of-7 shots after halftime. "You want to play with emotion but you want to be able to control it."
"I thought we played with too much emotion in the second half," Jackson said. "We did get very emotional and I tried to get some sense out there of playing under control."
Divac and Hedo Turkoglu made consecutive shots to end the third quarter and Sacramento scored the first two buckets of the fourth to take a 72-64 led before the Lakers rallied.
"We just stopped moving the ball, and stopped moving, stop playing our set offense and they took advantage," Stojakovic said. "They kill us with aggressiveness and made us stop playing our game.
"Overall we played OK, but we didn't finish the job," Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. "We had lack of patience. We have the next two weeks before we get Chris (Webber) back. We'll see how we respond to this."