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 Bryant leads Lakers past Kings, 112-103

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PostSubject: Bryant leads Lakers past Kings, 112-103   Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:44 pm

LOS ANGELES(AP) The Lakers didn't look like world beaters, but were good enough to beat the Kings this time.Avenging
their loss at Sacramento three days earlier, Los Angeles survived a
late charge to hold off the Kings 112-103 on Friday night."We
did better playing against them tonight,'' said Kobe Bryant, who led
the Lakers with 32 points. "In Sacramento we weren't able to contain
them in any stretch."They made a couple of big 3s down the stretch on a couple of blown assignments. But still in all, we did OK.''Pau
Gasol had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who built sizable
leads several times only to have defensive lapses that let Sacramento
back into the game.The Kings stormed back from a 92-77 deficit
early in the fourth quarter to close to 101-98 on Spencer Hawes'
3-pointer with 3:02 remaining. But Derek Fisher sank a 14-footer,
Bryant made a short jumper, then a driving dunk and free throw, and the
Lakers suddenly had stretched the lead back to 10.John Salmons, who led Sacramento with 26 points, expected Bryant to be determined in the rematch."The whole world knew that he was going to come out ready for this game,'' Salmons said. "So it is what it is - he is Kobe.''One
of only three defeats in Los Angeles' 22 games this season was at the
hands of the otherwise struggling Kings, a 113-101 upset at Sacramento
on Tuesday.Although they never led, the Kings played the Lakers
tough again and were tied 52-all at halftime. Los Angeles opened a
76-61 lead with 3:48 remaining in the third quarter and was up 84-72
heading into the fourth.Trevor Ariza scored 13 for Los Angeles,
and Fisher had 11. Andrew Bynum had eight points and 10 rebounds when
he fouled out with 4:24 remaining and the Lakers up 98-91.Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson had some points to make in his postgame talk to the players."I
told them we found ways to keep this ballclub in the game, in the end
of the first half, in the end of the third quarter, and at the end of
the game,'' he said."We did it through a variety of things. Let's not take anything away from Sacramento, but we really kept them in the game.''Beno Udrih had 16 points and Francisco Garcia scored 13 for Sacramento. Hawes finished with 11 points.Salmons found some solace in the way the Kings came back late in the game."I
think in the past, we would have quit before the game was over,'' he
said. "We kept fighting and we were right there with them. At this
point, we have to take anything that we can get.''Sacramento
coach Reggie Theus said his team did a lot of good things, but,
"They're a great basketball team and down the stretch, we made a couple
of mistakes and they capitalized on them.''Salmons' steal off
Bryant and fast-break layup with 7 seconds left in the first half drew
the Kings even at 52. That was the third and last time the score was
tied.In their meeting in Sacramento three days earlier, the
Lakers went in with 14 wins in their last 15 games, and the Kings were
5-16 and had lost 11 of their previous 12. But Salmons and Garcia
scored 21 points apiece, Bobby Jackson added 15 and the Kings claimed
their first home win in nine games.Bryant scored 28 in that
loss, but was just 9-of-25 from the floor and the Lakers were held to
40 percent shooting. He was 11-of-21 in the rematch and the Lakers shot
50 percent.Notes: At 19-3, the Lakers equaled their start under
Jackson in 2001-02. They have a ways to go, though, to equal the Bulls'
41-3 beginning with Michael Jordan in 1995-96 when Jackson was the
Chicago coach. ... The Kings hadn't played since their win over the
Lakers in Sacramento. Los Angeles beat Phoenix 115-110 the following
night. ... Bynum became just the second Laker to foul out of a game
this season. The other is Lamar Odom.

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