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 Lakers outlast Kings 118-108 to go 11-1

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PostSubject: Lakers outlast Kings 118-108 to go 11-1   Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:01 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) Double-digit scoring by
eight Los Angeles Lakers camouflaged what nearly cost them a victory
against the young and aggressive Sacramento Kings: sloppy ball handling
and poor transition defense.The Lakers committed 18 turnovers
Sunday night, which the Kings converted into 30 points. But Kobe Bryant
was good when he had to be, scoring 24 points and dishing out six
assists to help the defending Western Conference champs beat the Kings
118-108 and improve the NBA's best record to 11-1."I thought we
were poor, defensively,'' coach Phil Jackson said after watching
Sacramento shoot 53.4 percent against his team despite a 4-for-20
showing from 3-point range."Offensively we were effective,
although we turned the ball over an inordinate amount of times. They
shot the ball well and had a lot of speed and penetration out of
turnovers. They had 30 points off turnovers. It's tough to defend
turnovers. I don't think we recovered well and transitioned well back
to defense.''All five Lakers starters reached double figures in
points by the third quarter, as they won for the fourth straight time
since losing to Detroit at home. Andrew Bynum had 15 points and 10
rebounds, while Pau Gasol chipped in with 16 points."I'm not
happy with this win. We could have played much more solid
defensively,'' Bryant said. "They did a good job getting out in
transition. So from that aspect, we might have been a little worn
down.''Despite their won-lost record, the Lakers have shot 50
percent or better from the field only three times in the first 12
games. They finished at 51.7 percent in this one.Vladimir
Radmanovic, wearing red tinted goggles after getting poked in his right
eye during Friday night's win against Denver, made took only six shots
and was 4-for-5 from 3-point range. He finished with 12 points, going
to the bench for good with 5:11 left in the third quarter and the
Lakers up by seven.John Salmons led Sacramento with 24 points
and reserve Bobby Brown added 21. Kevin Martin was sidelined for the
eighth consecutive game with a sprained left ankle and Mikki Moore
missed his fourth straight because of a sprained right ankle.The
Kings, who have lost five of six, used a starting lineup that included
rookies Donte Greene and Jason Thompson, who has started every game
since Martin's injury and scored 15 points against the Lakers."It's
hard coming in here and playing the Lakers,'' Brown said. "They're 11-1
and they've got this momentum. We had some opportunities for fast
breaks and we tried to use that to our advantage.''Trailing by
as many as 19 points after Bynum's three-point play to open the fourth
quarter, Sacramento went on a 21-6 run that narrowed the gap to 105-101
with 6:17 to play. Bobby Jackson helped fuel the rally with 10 points,
including a three-point play that capped the rally."Our guys
never quit. Sometimes they do not play that great, but they never
quit,'' coach Reggie Theus said. "We have a tough game tomorrow (at
Portland), and I was considering if I was going to rest my guys. But I
talked to Brad (Miller) and the other guys, and there was no quitting.''Bryant,
Gasol and point guard Derek Fisher returned to the game following the
ensuing timeout, and the Kings got no closer. The Lakers scored the
next nine points to help put it away."We started the fourth
quarter OK, but we ran aground a little bit,'' Phil Jackson said. "We
turned the ball over and didn't get back on defense. Sacramento ran
themselves back into the game with their quick guards and their young
talent But it was a good recovery by the starters. They went out and
settled us down and got the game under control.''Miller, who
missed the first five games of the season because of a suspension for
violating the league's drug program, escaped a flagrant foul with 3:24
in the second quarter and Los Angeles leading 50-46. Lakers reserve
forward Trevor Ariza drove to the basket past the 7-foot center, who
wrapped his arm around Ariza's throat while he was in the air - sending
him crashing to the floor.Referee Eddie F. Rush didn't agree
with the sellout crowd of 18,997, who were still booing while Ariza
made one of two free throws.All nine players Jackson used in the
first quarter scored. Sasha Vujacic got his first points on a
buzzer-beating pull-up 3-pointer from the top of the arc for a 32-27
lead, after intercepting a pass by Brown at the other end and taking
off on a 2-on-none break with Ariza.Notes: It was the first time
this season that all five Lakers starters scored in double figures. ...
Jackson's best start as an NBA coach with only one loss was in 1996-97
when the Chicago Bulls came out of the gate 17-1 and won the second of
three straight NBA titles. The previous season, the Bulls finished
72-10. ... Kings G Quincey Douby, who scored a career-high 32 points
against the Lakers in the Kings' final game of last season, was the
last player off the bench and was on the floor for less than 2 1/2
minutes. ... The Lakers won their final two meetings against Sacramento
last season by 22 and 23 points, after the Kings beat them 114-113 at
Staples Center. ... Sacramento is 2-6 since Martin's injury. ... The
Kings had a season-high 29 assists.
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