Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 1/4

Game 1: Thursday, January 4th
Lakers132Final
OT
Kings128
Game 2: Friday, March 2nd
Kings116Final
Lakers108
Game 3: Sunday, April 1st
Kings103Final
Lakers126
Game 4: Wednesday, April 18th
Lakers117Final
Kings106

Kings 116

(26-32, 9-20 away)

Lakers 108

(33-26, 20-10 home)

    Coverage: KXTV

    7:30 PM ET, March 2, 2007

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    SAC 37 28 27 24116
    LAL 26 22 26 34108

    Top Performers

    Sacramento: M. Bibby 33 Pts, 4 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

    Los Angeles: K. Bryant 30 Pts, 4 Reb, 10 Ast

    Artest returns, adds 19 as Kings roll over Lakers 

    Associated Press

    LOS ANGELES -- The Lakers had no problem scoring. Defense was another question.

    Mike Bibby scored 10 of his 33 points in the final 4:04 Friday night and Kevin Martin added 20, leading the Sacramento Kings to a 116-108 victory over Los Angeles, which shot 52.5 percent from the field, but committed 19 turnovers. It was the first time the Lakers shot at least 50 percent and lost (13-1).

    "It was just a bad defensive performance in the first half, giving up that many points," said Kobe Bryant, who had 30 points and 10 assists for the Lakers. "We allowed them to set the tone by coming out and getting off to a 10-0 start. It's tough to get off to that kind of start. And when you combine that with the fact that we had only four free throws in the first half, that's not a good combination."

    Ron Artest, playing with the word "Kings" shaved into the back of his head, added 19 points and six assists in his return to Sacramento's lineup after sitting out Wednesday's 135-120 victory against Charlotte with a sore left knee.

    "We played hard all the way through, and you can't ask for any more," Bibby said.

    The wire-to-wire victory, coupled with Golden State's loss at New York, pulled Sacramento out of last place in the Pacific Division and ended the Lakers' three-game winning streak. It was the fourth time this season that the Lakers lost without ever leading. The other times came in games against Dallas, Miami and Detroit.

    "They took it to us from the start," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.

    The loss was the Lakers' 10th at home and seventh in 10 games overall.

    "I am frustrated that we can't play defense as a team," said Lamar Odom, who had 26 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. "We have the athletic ability and the height. We should be a much better team."

    Kwame Brown returned to the Los Angeles lineup, playing 20 minutes off the bench with no points and three rebounds after missing 27 games because of a severely sprained right ankle. But Luke Walton's sprained right ankle prevented him from joining Brown on the active roster, and reserve swingman Maurice Evans remained on the bench because of a sore right knee.

    Sacramento outscored Los Angeles 14-4 during a 3:34 stretch of the third quarter with 3-pointers from Martin and Bibby, increasing an 11-point lead to 83-62 with 5:27 left in the period. Bryant spent the first 4:33 of the fourth quarter on the bench, while his teammates narrowed the gap to 94-83 on Sasha Vujacic's fast-break layup with 9:43 to play.

    But the Kings extended their margin to 101-85 by the time Bryant returned to the floor with 7:27 remaining, and the Lakers got no closer than the final margin.

    "I thought the pace of the game was the pace we wanted, and we were really unselfish at moving the basketball," Sacramento coach Eric Musselman said. "Defensively, it was one of our most unselfish games, as far as giving help from the weak side. We weren't concerned with who we were guarding. We were just concerned with trying to get as many stops as we could."

    Sacramento led 65-48 at halftime, thanks to a disparity at the free throw line. The Kings were 19-for-24, while the Lakers were 4-for-4. Odom and Brian Cook got into foul trouble in the second quarter, each picking up their third and forcing Jackson to give Aaron McKie and Shammond Williams more minutes.

    McKie, playing in only his fifth game of an injury-plagued season, capped a 6-for-6 first half by hitting a 19-footer with 6.5 seconds left in the second quarter. But Bibby responded with a 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds on the clock.

    Game notes


    McKie played 14 minutes in the second half and missed his only field goal attempt. ... The Lakers were 13-14 during Brown's absence, which began on Jan. 4 at Sacramento with a 132-128 overtime win that triggered a seven-game losing streak by the Kings. ... Jackson says he has a difficult choice to make from game to game -- whether to start Brown or steadily improving rookie Andrew Bynum, who averaged 9.8 points and 8.1 rebounds while Brown was sidelined. "Kwame's definitely the quicker of the two, and can handle screen rolls and defensive situations that require better reading and anticipation because of his experience," Jackson said. "But Andrew's got the size and the length for blocking shots, which is also a factor."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    SAC
    LAL
    Points 116 108
    FGM-FGA 39-74 (.527) 42-80 (.525)
    3PM-3PA 9-19 (.474) 5-18 (.278)
    FTM-FTA 29-37 (.784) 19-21 (.905)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 3-25 8-44
    Assists 29 29
    Turnovers 12 19
    Steals 4 6
    Blocks 2 4
    Fast Break Points 12 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (2/0) 30 (3/0)
    Largest Lead 21 0

    Top Performers

    Sacramento
    Los Angeles
    Mike Bibby Bibby
    Points: 33
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Kobe Bryant Bryant
    Points: 30
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 10
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0