Kings Rally, Overcome Bryant’s 51 Points
Sacramento 118, L.A. Lakers 109 (OT)
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 19 (Ticker) -- Mistakes down the stretch by the Los Angeles Lakers gave the Sacramento Kings a chance. Mike Bibby, Brad Miller and Kenny Thomas took full advantage.
Bibby scored 23 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, Miller forced the extra session with a rare 3-pointer and Thomas took over after regulation to finish with his first career triple-double as the Kings rallied for a 118-109 victory over the Lakers, who wasted a 51-point effort from Kobe Bryant.
"They put Luke (Walton) on me and coach called the play for me," said Thomas, who finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists. "I was just trying to be aggressive, I'm the bigger guy. The very first time I got it, Mike (Bibby) told me not to settle for anything less than a layup so I was just trying to get to the hole and be aggressive."
The efforts by Bibby and Thomas spoiled Bryant's 12th game with at least 40 points.
"It was a big win," Bibby said. "We kept fighting and didn't give up. I kept telling everybody the game's not over yet, and we did what we had to in overtime."
Los Angeles held a 102-97 lead with 35 seconds left in regulation after Bryant found Lamar Odom for a 3-pointer.
A foul led to Miller's free throw seconds later and Odom quickly turned the ball over, allowing Bibby to make a 3-pointer with 18 seconds to go to cut the Kings' deficit to 102-101.
Bryant was fouled five seconds later and hit both free throws to extend his franchise record of made foul shots to 48. Miller then was left alone with 4.1 seconds to go and buried a game-tying 3-pointer -- just his 10th of the season -- from the top of the key.
Thomas was caught with the ball on the wing and leaped to find Miller wide open as the clock was winding down.
"The patience at the end of the game there when Brad hit the three was terrific," Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. "We had plenty of time, we moved the ball around and they made a mistake and left Brad standing there. Then in the overtime we took control, especially when Odom fouled out."
"Mike kept telling me to keep shooting that ball," said Miller, who had missed 10-of-11 second-half shots before hitting the tying basket. "I was thinking, 'I'm not even close on these,' but (my teammates) had confidence and just stuck with it. Traditional Kings (basketball), moving it around. I was just open and I was due to make one finally."
The Lakers called timeout to set up a play for Bryant, but Odom's 3-pointer at the buzzer hit off the front of the rim as Bryant worked to get free on the wing.
"I take the blame for that (game)," said Odom, who was called for a charge on an ill-advised drive to the hoop with 22 seconds to go. "I should have ran the clock down more (with 30 seconds left). First time in a long time, my aggressiveness beat me. I was thinking get to the basket. A flop call on a team that is dead, I kind of gave them new life. It's a tough call but I guess it was the right call."
No team scored in overtime until Bibby's 3-pointer with 3:36 left gave Sacramento the lead for good, 107-104, and Thomas scored underneath on three straight possessions as the Kings took control.
The Lakers finally collapsed on Thomas and he passed out to Garcia, who hit his third 3-pointer to make it 116-107 with 54 seconds to go.
"Weird things happen in the NBA, and tonight was one of them," Bryant said. "We had a chance to win the game and just didn't close it out. They made some big shots down the stretch and came away with the victory. Even though (Odom) made a mistake, as a team, defense down the stretch cost us the ballgame."
"With our team, we're still learning what's a good enough lead," Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson said. "We didn't use the clock wisely and they made some big plays."
Miller had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Peja Stojakovic returned from a three-game layoff with a sore back to collect 13 and 10 as Sacramento won its third straight for the first time in a month to get their home record above .500 at 12-11.
Shareef Abdur-Rahim, his mouth still wired shut due to a broken jaw, scored 11 points in his first game since sustaining the injury against Portland on Dec. 26.
Bryant shot 17-of-35 from the floor but just 2-of-7 in overtime. Odom had 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists before fouling out less than a minute into the extra session.
Bryant had 26 points at halftime to keep his club within 54-52 at the break. Miller made a jumper to give the Kings a 65-60 lead midway through the third quarter, but Bryant responded with a jumper and two free throws to highlight a 12-3 burst as the Lakers claimed a lead they would hold well into the fourth.
Odom's layup gave Los Angeles its largest advantage, 89-81, with 8:41 to go. Bibby buried a 21-footer and hit a 3-pointer in the next minute to spark a 12-2 run as Sacramento claimed a 93-91 advantage.
Bryant then made two free throws, three tough jumpers and assisted on Odom's late 3-pointer in the final minute to put the Lakers up five. They managed just one field goal thereafter.