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Bryant shines as Lakers rout Kings

Apr 2, 2007 - 5:56 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- While Kobe Bryant took on a different role, rookie Jordan Farmar completed an unprecedented feat.

Bryant collected 19 points and 13 assists and Farmar pulled off rare double duty as the Los Angeles Lakers snapped a two-game losing streak with a 126-103 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

Maurice Evans scored 21 points and Luke Walton added 18 for the Lakers (39-34), who have a 2 1/2-game cushion over Denver (36-36) for sixth place in the Western Conference standings.

"This is the first game we have had a breakout game in I can't remember how long," Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson said. "I can't remember how long it has been since we've had a rotation (injuries) that made sense. It may have been since the beginning of the new year."

On Friday, Bryant poured in 53 points to record his fifth 50-point game this season. Bryant became the first player since Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain to average at least 40 points for an entire month. The 6-6 superstar averaged 40.4 points in March.

On Sunday, the nine-time All-Star shot just 6-of-14 from the field. But he did most of his damage as a playmaker, setting up his teammates for easy shots all night, as the Lakers shot 62 percent (50-of-81) from the floor.

"I like seeing my teammates be in a rhythm," Bryant said. "I like seeing their confidence. I like to see them smile. I don't like seeing them second-guessing themselves with their shots or anything like that, or hanging their heads down. So tonight was a big game for them to try to get their confidence back to get their stride back a little bit."

However, it was a more remarkable night for Farmar, who became the first player to play in a D-League and NBA game on the same night.

"Even though no one has done it before, it wasn't that weird for me," Farmar said. "It was fun."

On Saturday night, Farmar was assigned by the Lakers to the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the D-League. He had 18 points and six assists in their contest against the Anaheim Arsenal on Sunday.

"The (Lakers) have got to send someone down to get more comfortable, get more experience and get more playing time," Farmar said. "And I know that is the reason I went down. It wasn't because I'm not an adequate player, or that I can't play at this level.

"It's just to help me out really, taking advantage of something that was made for that reason. I was happy I got to get in with the Lakers. That's my team, I play for the Lakers. The D-League is there to aid me and help me contribute to this organization."

With about an hour to rest in between games, the first-year guard then collected four points and four rebounds in seven minutes with the Lakers later Sunday night.

"Jordan was really aggressive," Jackson said. "He put the ball in the basket a couple of times and made some good defensive plays. I think it helped make him feel confident physically in his body.

"Sometimes, you get disembodied or something when you sit on the bench and watch and you're not participating, so I thought it helped him out."

Ron Artest scored 26 points for the Kings (30-42), who are 5 1/2 games behind the Clippers (36-37) for the final playoff spot in the West.

"We are trying to win each game," Sacramento coach Eric Musselman said. "That is what we tried to do tonight. We'll go back and regroup and try to win the next game (vs Dallas)."

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