Gameday: Lakers 115, Kings 107

GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Sacramento Kings 26 32 16 33 107
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 31 34 27 23 115


Masked Mamba gets 38, Lakers hold off Kings

By GREG BEACHAM


Posted Mar 02 2012 10:15PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Kobe Bryant scored 38 points in his second straight big game in a protective mask, and the Los Angeles Lakers blew most of a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter before holding on to beat the Sacramento Kings 115-107 Friday night in their highest-scoring performance of the season.

Andrew Bynum had 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who improved to 16-1 at home since losing their season opener on Christmas. Pau Gasol added 15 points, and Metta World Peace scored eight of his 15 points in the final 5 minutes when the Lakers finally countered a lengthy rally by Sacramento's reserves.

Francisco Garcia scored 18 points to lead seven Kings in double figures in their eighth loss in 10 games.

After Sacramento trailed 94-74 early in the fourth quarter, the reserves scored 11 consecutive points during a 21-6 run that trimmed the Lakers' lead to 100-95 on Jimmer Fredette's 3-pointer with 5 minutes to play.

But World Peace and Bryant both hit key 3-pointers down the stretch to counteract big baskets by Fredette. The rookie scored all 12 of his points in the fourth quarter, while John Salmons had eight of his 12 in the final period.

Marcus Thornton scored 15 points for the Kings, who have lost two straight since California's capital city announced its financing plan for a $391 million downtown arena to replace Arco Arena.

Bryant warmed up for the Miami Heat's visit on Sunday with eight rebounds and three assists in his second game since Dwyane Wade broke his nose and gave him a concussion with a hard foul in the All-Star game.

Two nights after scoring 31 points in a win over Minnesota in his first game in the mask, Bryant had 31 points through three quarters against the defense-deficient Kings. The NBA's leading scorer had 20 points in the first half, but didn't score in the fourth until hitting a rally-killing 3-pointer with 2:43 to play.

Bryant is sticking with his clear plastic mask until his nose is less tender, although he says the protection feels like "a sauna on my face."

The mask hasn't affected his vision or his shooting stroke: He's 20 for 24 on free throws since donning the mask, even though he banked in his last foul shot with 9.5 seconds left.

The Lakers have had trouble with their upstate rivals in recent months, starting with Sacramento's 100-95 win at Staples Center in January 2011 to snap a six-game skid in the series. The Kings then beat the Lakers at home on Dec. 26, sending Los Angeles off to a 0-2 start to the season.

Notes: Before the game, Sacramento announced forward J.J. Hickson will miss the next three games to rest a bruised hip. The fourth-year backup was hurt during the Kings' loss to the Clippers earlier this week. ... Derek Fisher got a technical foul for arguing a foul called against him after Isaiah Thomas hit him in the head with his elbow and then pulled Fisher down to the court in the third quarter. ... Eddie Murphy watched the game from courtside.


Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited





View More Photos


Points Bryant 38, 13-24 FG
Rebounds Bynum 15, 2 OFF 13 DEF
Assists Bryant 7
Steals World Peace/Bryant 1
Blocks Bynum 3


POSTGAME QUOTES



Mike Brown:

Lakers coach Mike Brown on the tonight’s performance overall:

“We’ll take the win. With a team that scores as easy as they scored, it’s a little tough on me. But sometimes that happens. Our guys found a way to score more than them tonight and that’s why we won.”

Lakers coach Mike Brown on why the Lakers shooting percentages are on the rise:

“There are three things we’ve been talking about the whole year…three staples. First one, we want to attack the clock. Try to get the ball up to court, especially on misses, as quickly as possible so we can get to our offense within the first four or five seconds so we can get to a second and third option. Or when Kobe or Pau or Andrew gets doubled, we can kick the ball out, swing it and drive it and then kick it again and then drive it again. So we’re doing a better job of attacking the clock. It’s allowing us to get more options. The second thing is simple, we’re moving the ball and we’re moving bodies. A lot of guys are touching the basketball. We had 25 assists which is a good night. The last thing is the spacing. The spacing is there, without that spacing it would be tough. Our 3 best players are post up guys and they have to have exact spacing in order for us to get good looks because everything is generated right around that painted area.”

Lakers coach Mike Brown on the difference between tonight’s game against the Kings compared to the last time the two teams met:

“The biggest thing is there is continuity of us being together for a while and having a better understanding. I’ll be the first to tell you I was all across the board that night. Obviously we didn’t have Andrew. But I was throwing guys in and out, left and right. We were experimenting a lot offensively that we didn’t know if they would be good for our team. We hoped that it would, but we weren’t sure. Defensively we were still trying to teach a lot of things at that point.”




Kobe Bryant:

Lakers’ Kobe Bryant on what the team is doing different offensively over the last couple weeks:

“We’re just reading each other and playing off of each other a little bit better.”

Lakers’ Kobe Bryant on his thoughts regarding team’s next game against Miami:

“It’s a good measuring stick for us to see how much we’ve improved since last time.”

Lakers’ Kobe Bryant on the team’s performance tonight:

“We played well. We didn’t come out with the right sense of urgency and focus at the start of the fourth quarter and that almost cost us, but overall, I think we did pretty well.”

Lakers’ Kobe Bryant on how the big men set the tone for tonight’s game:

“They did a good job of being aggressive and playing big in the paint, which is a huge key for us. They really have to play big down low with physicality.”




Pau Gasol:

Lakers’ Pau Gasol on his thoughts regarding Miami:

“Obviously, we understand they’ve been playing really well, they’re one of the toughest teams in the league and full of weapons and great players, so we’re going to have to bring our best game. They’re a very dangerous team. Offensively, they’re aggressive and physical. They help each other, so you have to be really understanding how to attack them and take care of the ball. Turnovers and long shots will turn into a run out and highlights for them. It’s a tough game --- it’s a game we have to play at our best.”

Lakers’ Pau Gasol on team’s bench play tonight:

“They came out great. Obviously, [Andrew] Goudelock got going in the first half, which was important and Matt [Barnes] is very solid off the bench. They contributed and helped us win the game.”




Derek Fisher:

Lakers’ Derek Fisher on his thoughts regarding team’s next game against Miami:

“Every game is big for us right now because we have an opportunity to get better each time we step out on the floor and we have a ways to go before we be the team we want to be, so we’re taking every game seriously.”

vLakers’ on Derek Fisher on how the team stacks up against Miami now compared to earlier in the season:

“I’m not really looking it as one of those barometer games. I think we’d do ourselves a disservice if we put too much emphasis on how this game goes, win or lose. Obviously, we want to play better and I think we have a chance to play better, and it should be fun.”

Lakers’ Derek Fisher on what the team has done differently offensively over the last few weeks:

“It’s understanding that it’s important that we still play the game out on the floor and I think we continue to work really hard as ballplayers to do what our coaches are asking us to do --- run the sets they want us to run. But I think we’re growing in our ability to take that set or play call and then just use our instincts from there, and that’s helped us a lot in the last few weeks.”




Keith Smart:

Kings coach Keith Smart on the team’s come back in the 4th quarter:

“I thought we did an excellent job. And we did it in a fashion where we moved the ball and made them have to guard hard cuts. We kind of have the tale of two teams sometimes, where we have a team that can be creative on their own and then we’ve got a team that understands how to play well and move the ball. And that was just what we needed. We made some plays, we got some easy baskets, we didn’t have long jump shots, and I thought defensively was really good. They did a great job, made some big time plays, which allowed us to get stops and then go down and run some of our motion offense. I thought Chuck Hayes did an excellent job with understanding how to play from the high post and making the right reads for our guys.”

Kings coach Keith Smart on what they’ll take away from tonight’s game:

“I’ve been happy with this group. One thing I said from day one was that we’re going to play hard, not play to score. These guys could’ve folded and said it’s over, you know, we’re going to roll over, but they played hard and got themselves back in the game. And that’s why this group is going to be ok. This group is going to come around as we continue to get familiar with each other and they’re going to play hard every single night, and I have no question that they’re going to play hard.”

Kings coach Keith Smart on DeMarcus Cousins’ minutes in the 4th quarter:

“I just think it was going too well. You know, I look back and I don’t want to second guess what I did right there. I just thought that our guys did a great job of getting us back into the game, and we had a high post passer. But that stuff will get ironed out. The way I look at it now, we’ve got a basketball team, we’re coming off of back-to-back, and sometimes you try and get something going that may not be there and it puts you in more trouble. I think we kind of hit that third quarter where we got down by a multitude of points and I had to find some way to get us back in the game. And I thought the group did a great job and got us back in the game.”




Jimmer Fredette

Kings’ Jimmer Fredette on his scoring burst in the fourth quarter:

“I did the best I could to help my team win. I’m just trying to be a good player and get out there and give a spark. That’s what we need from our whole second unit. I was happy to make shots and we were making plays and moving the ball well.”

vKings’ Jimmer Fredette on his confidence growing from a strong performance:

“It was a great confidence builder for myself, but ultimately we wanted to win the game. We were coming back and we had a few things that didn’t go our way, and a couple shots that didn’t go down that could have put us really close.”

Kings’ Jimmer Fredette on what it’s going to take for this team to take the next step:

“We have got to be more consistent. Playing together more as our identity gets better and we know our identity more, I think it will get better. We didn’t have a training camp with this coach, and in a shortened season there was barely any training camp at all. It’s something we have to grow into. We’ve had some really good wins against some top opponents in this league, and it’s something once we get the time it will all gel together.”




Isaiah Thomas:

Kings’ Isaiah Thomas on losing control of the game in the third quarter:

“We just didn’t play together, plain and simple. We went into a lot of one on ones and got away from what was working in the first half. They were scoring real easy, and once they started scoring, I think we shot too quickly. We weren’t taking good shots and it kept leading to easy buckets for them.”

Kings’ Isaiah Thomas on returning to Staples Center for the first time since his buzzer beater against Arizona in the 2011 Pac-10 Tournament:

“It brings back good memories. Even the referee said last time you were here you had a terrific shot.”




Tyreke Evans

Kings’ Tyreke Evans on what the team needs to do in order to take the next step:

“We just have to know our role. We just play off of our talent. Once we all know what our role is on this team we’ll become a better team.”






Lakers-Kings Preview

By JEFF MEZYDLO


Kobe Bryant won’t let a busted nose and a concussion keep him from trying to help the Los Angeles Lakers win games.

Sporting a protective mask and coming off another inspired performance, the banged-up Bryant looks to help the Lakers avenge an early season loss to the Sacramento Kings on Friday night at Staples Center.

After being knocked hard to the floor by Miami’s Dwyane Wade during Sunday’s All-Star game, Bryant played through the discomfort of his injuries and the mask to post 31 points, eight assists and seven rebounds as Los Angeles (21-14) returned from the break to beat Minnesota 104-85 on Wednesday.

“Kobe is a special human being,” coach Mike Brown said. “I don’t have answers for him. I don’t know what he’s made of. He’s just different. His body reacts different.”

Already bothered a by a torn ligament in his wrist, Bryant has not missed a game this season while averaging an NBA-high 28.5 points. The broken nose and concussion left the 33-year-old with headaches, nausea and neck pain. None of which, however, were enough to keep him off the floor after he passed every concussion test from a neurologist.

“I understand the severity of the situation,” Bryant said. “You have to go through those steps. It’s part of the job. … It’s definitely different. In that sense, you’re pretty helpless. You just have to be patient and hope for the best.

“You just have to deal with it and try to heal up as quickly as you possibly can, and get back on the court.”

The Lakers were glad to have Bryant on the floor as they shot 48.8 percent to win for the sixth time in eight games. Paul Gasol scored 15 points while All-Star Andrew Bynum added 13 with 13 rebounds as Los Angeles took advantage of a surging Minnesota squad playing without ill star Kevin Love.

Bryant now looks to help the Lakers avoid a second straight loss to the Kings (12-23), who dropped Los Angeles to an 0-2 start with a 100-91 win at Sacramento on Dec. 26. Though Bryant finished with 29 points, the Lakers shot 42.0 percent and went 1 for 16 from 3-point range.

“I hope they enjoy this,” Bryant said after that contest.

Bryant has averaged 31.0 points on 47.9 percent shooting in his last 27 games versus Sacramento, but the Kings have won two of three after losing eight straight in the series. Sacramento snapped a six-game road skid to the Lakers with a 100-95 win Jan. 28, 2011.

Sacramento big man DeMarcus Cousins had 27 points with 10 rebounds in that road contest. He finished with 23 and 10, respectively, as the Kings fell for the seventh time in nine games, 108-100 at home to the Clippers on Thursday.

Despite the defeat, the city of Sacramento announced Thursday its plan for a new $391 million arena that would keep the Kings in California’s capital for at least another 30 years. With that behind them, they return to the road where they snapped a six-game skid away from home with a 115-107 win at Washington on Feb. 22.

Sacramento swingman Marcus Thornton has averaged 21.1 points in the last seven road games. He’s totaled 60 points on 23-of-39 shooting in the last two meetings against the Lakers, but has combined for 17 in two against them as a reserve at Staples Center.

Probable Starters .
  Lakers    
  #15 World Peace SF #23 Thornton  
  #16 GasolPF #34 Thompson  
  #17 Bynum C #15 Cousins  
  #24 Bryant SG #13 Evans  
  #2 Fisher PG #22 Thomas  



Lakers Steve Blake
(costochaondral fracture) is probable.
Kobe Bryant
(nasal fracture, concussion) is day-to-day.

None


Game 1: 12/26 - LAL @ SAC - L 91-100
Game 2: 3/02 - SAC @ LAL
Game 3: 4/26 - LAL @ SAC


GAME NOTES

SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers currently trail their season series with the Kings 0-1 after winning last season’s series with Sacramento 3-1 and sweeping the 2009-10 season series 4-0. The two franchises have met 278 times overall and 114 times since the Kings moved to Sacramento. The Lakers lead the all-time series with the Kings 190-88 (82-32 vs. Sacramento). In their last 10 meetings, the Lakers are 8-2 against Sacramento. The Lakers are 16-8 all-time against the Kings at STAPLES Center and 7-3 in their last 10 home contests. On the road in the state capitol, the Lakers are 8-2 in their last 10 games at Power Balance Pavilion. Last season (12/3/10 at STAPLES Center), the Lakers defeated the Kings by 33 points, their largest victory over the Kings since a 33-point win 12/22/95. Also last season (11/3/10), Kobe Bryant recorded his 17th career triple-double while passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the franchise leader for career minutes in a 112-100 Lakers victory at Sacramento. Three seasons ago, on April 6, 2008, the Lakers defeated the Kings by 22 points, their largest victory in Sacramento since a 23-point win 3/23/89. In 2006-07, the Lakers were whistled for 42 personal fouls in their 132-128 overtime victory January 4, 2007 in Sacramento, establishing a new Los Angeles era franchise record. The Lakers last committed 42 personal fouls back on 2/17/57 versus St. Louis when the team was still in Minneapolis. Additionally, the Lakers and Kings combined for 80 personal fouls and 102 free throws on the night, which was, at the time, the most fouls committed by two teams in more than seven years. In 55 career games against the Kings including 47 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 26.7 points with a high game of 51 points 1/19/06 at Sacramento. Kings forward J.J. Hickson played his first two NBA seasons (2008-10) under Lakers head coach Mike Brown in Cleveland and Kings forward Tyler Honeycutt played collegiately at UCLA. The Lakers and Kings haven’t met in the postseason since the 2002 Western Conference Finals. While Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher both played in that series, no Kings remain on the current roster from that playoff series.


KOBE BRYANT PASSES MICHAEL JORDAN FOR MOST CAREER POINTS IN ALL-STAR GAME HISTORY
At the 2012 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando, a Kobe Bryant fast-break dunk at the 4:57 mark of the third quarter moved him past Michael Jordan (262 points) for most career points in All-Star Game History. Bryant finished with 27 points on 9-of-17 shooting, helping the West to a 152-149 victory over the East. Bryant (271 points), who entered the game ranked 4th in career All-Star scoring, also passed Oscar Robertson (246 points) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (251 points) on the night. Bryant, a 14-time All-Star and 4-time All-Star MVP, also tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob Cousy and Michael Jordan for the most All-Star starts in NBA history with 13. Andrew Bynum, the starting center for the Western Conference, made his first career All-Star appearance, but played just six minutes in order to rest his knee. Bynum finished with three rebounds, an assist and a steal, while blocking Dwight Howard’s first shot attempt.


WORLD PEACE RECORDS 1,500th CAREER STEAL
With a steal at the 2:04 mark of the second quarter 2/23 at Oklahoma City, Metta World Peace recorded his 1,500th career steal. World Peace currently ranks fifth on the active steals list with 1,501 steals. Jason Kidd tops the active leaders list with 2,519 steals, followed by Kobe Bryant (2nd/1,698), Kevin Garnett (3rd/1,630) and Shawn Marion (4th/1,534). Baron Davis is sixth on the active list with 1,498 career steals. The 2004 NBA Defensive Player of the Year has finished among the top-five in the NBA in steals per game five times in his career and has led his team in steals in 10 of his 12 NBA seasons. A member of the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2004 and 2006 and the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2003 and 2009, World Peace currently ranks 37th on the NBA’s All-Time career steals list


LAKERS HOLD BLAZERS TO SEVEN FIRST QUARTER POINTS
In their 103-92 victory over the Trail Blazers on February 20 at STAPLES Center, the Lakers outscored Portland 29-7 in the first quarter, where they held the Trail Blazers to just 3-of-17 shooting and outrebounded Portland 21-5. The Blazers’ seven first quarter points marked their lowest first quarter points total in their 3,363-game history in the NBA. The total also matched the second lowest first quarter points total allowed by the Lakers since moving to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season; on February 4, 1987, the Lakers outscored the Sacramento Kings 40-4 in the first quarter in a 128-92 victory at The Forum and on January 9, 2004, the Lakers outscored the Atlanta Hawks 34-7 in the first period in a 113-67 victory at STAPLES Center. The last time the Lakers held a team to seven points or less in any quarter came back on December 9, 2009, when they outscored the Utah Jazz 28-6 in the fourth quarter in a 101-77 victory at STAPLES Center.*


KOBE BRYANT BECOMES NINTH GUARD IN NBA HISTORY TO ACCUMULATE 6,000 REBOUNDS
With nine rebounds in the Lakers 111-99 victory over Phoenix 2/17 at STAPLES Center, Kobe Bryant (6,005 career rebounds) became the ninth guard in NBA history to accumulate 6,000 rebounds (includes players listed as G, G/F or F/G). Jason Kidd, the only guard in league history to amass 8,000 rebounds, tops the list, with Oscar Robertson (G), Scottie Pippen (F/G) and Chet Walker (F/G) the only other guards to post at least 7,000+ rebounds. Magic Johnson (6,559) leads all Lakers guards in career rebounds while Michael Jordan is another notable guard on the list with 6,672 career rebounds.


BRYANT PASSES SHAQUILLE O’NEAL FOR 5th ON NBA’S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
With a 23-foot jumper at the 5:08 mark in the second quarter 2/6 at Philadelphia, Kobe Bryant moved past Shaquille O’Neal (28,596) for fifth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Last season, Kobe Bryant moved past Hall-of-Famers Moses Malone (27,409) 3/8/11 at Atlanta, Elvin Hayes (27,313) 2/27/11 at Oklahoma City, Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) 1/28/11 vs. Sacramento, Oscar Robertson (26,710) 1/7/11 vs. New Orleans, Dominique Wilkins (26,668) 1/4/11 vs. Detroit and John Havlicek (26,395) 12/10/10 at Chicago on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant (28,601) are Wilt Chamberlain (4th/31,419), Michael Jordan (3rd/32,292), Karl Malone (2nd/36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1st/38,387). Among the top six scorers in NBA history, five have worn the Lakers uniform.

Bryant has been steadily moving up the list over the past few years. In 2009-10, he passed Alex English (25,613), Reggie Miller (25,279), Jerry West (25,192), Patrick Ewing (24,815) and Allen Iverson (24,368). In passing West with a slam dunk at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter February 1, 2010 at Memphis, finishing the game with 44 points (West’s retired number), Bryant became the leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. In 2008-09, Bryant passed Gary Payton (21,813) and Hall-of-Famers Charles Barkley (23,757), Robert Parish (23,334), Adrian Dantley (23,177), Elgin Baylor (23,149), Clyde Drexler (22,195) and Larry Bird (21,791).


BYNUM RECORDS SECOND CAREER 20-20 GAME
On February 6th at Philadelphia, Andrew Bynum totaled 20 points (8-13 FG) and 20 rebounds, marking his second career 20-point, 20-rebound game (3rd career 20+ rebound game). Bynum’s other 20-20 game came earlier this season on January 3rd, when Bynum totaled 21 points (8-15 FG) and 22 rebounds as the Lakers defeated the Houston Rockets 108-99 at STAPLES Center, becoming the youngest Laker to do so (24 years, 68 days) since Rudy LaRuso tallied 30 points and 21 rebounds on February 26, 1961 at the age of 23 years, 107 days. Bynum’s only other 20+ rebound game came on 4/5/11 vs. Utah, when he grabbed a career-high 23 rebounds. The last Laker to record a 20-20 game prior to Bynum was Pau Gasol, who posted 30 points and 20 rebounds on February 16, 2011 at Cleveland.


DOMINATING THE GLASS, BUT LOSING THE GAME
In the Lakers 95-90 loss at Philadelphia on February 6, the Lakers out-rebounded the 76ers 55-30, marking the first time the Lakers lost despite out-rebounding their opponent by 25-plus rebounds since they out-rebounded New Jersey 55-28 in a 109-103 loss to the Nets at STAPLES Center on 1/28/05. The last time any team lost when out-rebounding their opponent by 25-plus rebounds occurred on 3/11/09 at Detroit, when the Pistons out-rebounded New York 64-39, but fell to the Knicks 116-111.



*Statistical research assistance provided by the Elias Sports Bureau






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