SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 16 (Ticker) -- As he has proven time, and time again, Kobe Bryant always seems to find a way to regain his focus on the court.

Bryant scored 31 points and directed a balanced offensive attack with 12 assists as the Los Angeles Lakers posted a 115-99 triumph over the Sacramento Kings.

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The subject of further scrutiny after televised interviews earlier in the week in which he defended his offseason actions and fired back at former teammate Karl Malone, Bryant was brilliant in one of Los Angeles' most impressive wins of the season. He had 16 of his points in the third quarter, when the Lakers turned the game into a rout.

"Once you get in the game you become consumed by the game," Bryant said. "We all lean on one another for help and support. Once you kind of get lathered up, you just forget about everything."

"He did a little bit of everything out there," Lakers forward Lamar Odom said. "He can do that every night. I wouldn't say it makes us unbeatable, but we can definitely compete with every team in the league when we get that kind of effort."

Bryant also was battling a cold that kept him in bed most of the morning.

"(Kobe's) been under the weather," Los Angeles coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "He didn't have a shootaround today, but he was great -- he was very up, very into it, communicating with the team. Probably a milestone for us. Just a great team win."

Los Angeles closed the quarter with a 15-5 run and took a 92-71 lead into the final 12 minutes. The Lakers pushed the lead to 22 in the fourth and never were threatened.

Los Angeles had yet to beat a top team in the Western Conference coming into the game and clearly wanted to prove something.

"We had yet to beat a quality opponent like Sacramento," Bryant said. "We were up (13) against Phoenix, we had Sacramento down late in the game in L.A. We've been in position to win this type of game but just haven't been able to close them out."

Tomjanovich echoed the sentiment.

"Obviously, a tremendous win for us against a team that has a great record at home," Tomjanovich said. "It's very hard to win here."

The Kings had no answers for the Lakers defensively as Los Angeles shot 55 percent (46-of-83), including 46 percent (12-of-26) from the arc.

Odom scored 22 points, Tierre Brown added 15 and Brian Cook 12 for the Lakers.

"When you don't guard anybody, that's what happens," Kings guard Bobby Jackson said. "In the second half we didn't do anything. Give them credit. We knew (Kobe) would get his, but the other guys came in and did a tremendous job."

Sacramento led 39-36 following a dunk by Doug Christie with 5:48 left in the opening half, but Los Angeles closed the quarter with a 19-10 burst.

"(In the second half) they outplayed us. I don't know what else to say," Kings forward Peja Stojakovic said. "They came out with more energy, they outrebounded us, outran us and outscored us. It happens. We have four games left on this homestand to try and get better."

The game marked the return of Vlade Divac to ARCO Arena. Divac, who spent the last six seasons in Sacramento, did not score in three minutes. He was greeted with a standing ovation from the sellout crowd.

"Even though I play for the Lakers, I will always be part of the Kings," Divac said. "It's fun to be back and my team won."

Jackson and Chris Webber scored 20 points apiece for Sacramento, which had won three straight home games.