Bryant scores 42 to lead Lakers past KingsJan 5, 2007 - 8:53 AM SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- After seeing his team squander a 21-point lead, Kobe Bryant took command.
Bryant scored 42 points with 10 rebounds and nine assists, and Brian Cook added 26 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 132-128 overtime triumph over the Sacramento Kings.
Entering as the league's fourth-leading scorer (28.7), Bryant rebounded from a scoreless first quarter to record his sixth 40-point game of the season. The reigning scoring champ made 11-of-21 shots and 17-of-20 free throws.
"You know, when you get to the free-throw line, it changes a lot of things," Bryant said. "When you have a 20-point lead and all of the sudden teams start getting a lot of free throws, they sneak up on you. All of the sudden, you look up and (it's close). They did a great job (coming back)."
"You notice our turnovers were only seven in the first half, and we ended with (19)," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "Little things ... changed the tempo of the game around, so all of the sudden, the game becomes close."
Bryant scored seven points in overtime, opening with a layup and later hitting a jumper with 1:02 left for a 126-121 lead. Kevin Martin hit a layup and Mike Bibby buried a 3-pointer sandwiched around a free throw by Smush Parker to bring the Kings within 127-126 with 13 seconds left.
After Bryant made 1-of-2 from the foul line with 10 seconds left, Corliss Williamson missed a layup five seconds later and fouled Bryant, who hit two more free throws to seal the victory.
"I'm not one for moral victories, but it says a lot about our character," Williamson said. "We could have easily laid down and went back out there in the second half and just gave up. But we showed a lot of heart to fight back and give ourselves an opportunity to win."
Sacramento rallied from a 21-point deficit in the third quarter to force overtime in a game that featured Arco Arena records for most free-throw attempts in a game (102) and a quarter (47 in the second). The Lakers were 31-of-44 from the foul line, while the Kings went 43-of-58.
"We had a lot of opportunities to win the game," Kings guard John Salmons said. "But we got off to a bad start in the first quarter and spent a lot of energy trying to get back in the game. When you're trying to come back, all the little things count. You've got to be almost perfect to come back."
After trailing, 83-62, in the third quarter, Sacramento gradually came back and used a 15-2 fourth-quarter run to take a 109-108 lead on a pair of free throws by Martin.
The Kings widened the lead to 116-112 with six seconds to go in regulation before Vladimir Radmanovic buried a 3-pointer with 4.7 left and Parker made a layup at the buzzer for the Lakers to force overtime.
"They left me to go double Kobe and I just cut behind (Bibby) and knew the lane was going to open up," Parker said. "(Kobe) made a good pass and I got a lucky bounce. The play was, of course, to get the ball in Kobe's hand and let him create, and that's what he did."
"The design was for me to catch it and read the situation," Bryant said. "If I had an opportunity to penetrate, I was going to penetrate. But Smush (Parker) made a great read, cut back door and made (the) basket."
Luke Walton scored 16 points, Andrew Bynum added 15 points with 11 rebounds and Parker 10 for the Lakers, who shot 52 percent (46-of-88) from the floor and had a 51-36 rebound advantage.
Bibby scored a season-high 38 points, Ron Artest had 19 and Williams 18 for the Kings, who had their three-game home winning streak ended.
Despite a scoreless first quarter from Bryant, the Lakers shot nearly 63 percent (15-of-24) from the floor to take a 33-18 lead. Brian Cook hit six-of-eight shots and scored 13 points in the period.
"My strength is shooting the basketball," Cook said. "I got some open looks the first part of the half and made them. I love shooting the basketball."
"That's always killed us, going down in the first quarter or whatever," Bibby said. "This isn't the only game that's hurt us. I think (Kobe) was just trying to get his team involved. They were playing so good without him scoring, I think he was just going through with how they were playing."
LA LAKERS 132
SACRAMENTO 128 FINAL IN 1ST OT
Jan 5 2:07 AM
LA LAKERS 117
SACRAMENTO 117 END OF 4TH QTR GOING INTO OVERTIME
Jan 5 1:40 AM
LA LAKERS 90
SACRAMENTO 83 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 5 12:50 AM
LA LAKERS 74
SACRAMENTO 58 HALFTIME
Jan 5 12:00 AM
LA LAKERS 33
SACRAMENTO 18 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 4 11:12 PM
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