for this game

Udrih's late free throws propel Kings past Lakers

Mar 10, 2008 - 5:59 AM By Jonathan Raber PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- In the ultra-competitive Western Conference, where any loss is a big loss, the Los Angeles Lakers suffered one of their biggest setbacks of the season.

Beno Udrih had 25 points - including a pair of free throws to regain the lead in the final seconds - and 10 assists for the Sacramento Kings en route to a 114-113 victory over the Lakers on Sunday.

Los Angeles (44-19) failed in its attempt to take advantage of San Antonio's loss to the Phoenix Suns Sunday afternoon and, as a result, maintained its slim one-half game lead over the Spurs (43-19) atop the Western Conference standings.

Kobe Bryant finished with 26 points, but only scored one point in the fourth while taking just two shots in the final quarter for Los Angeles.

"I think we lost this one from the onset, (not) coming out with the right sense of purpose and execution really," said Bryant, who scored only 11 points after the first quarter. "I think it's a good wake-up call for us."

After trimming the lead to one point and failing to take the lead seven times, Pau Gasol handed Los Angeles its first lead since the opening quarter on a layup with 14 seconds remaining to make it 113-112.

On the next possession, Udrih drove the lane, drawing a foul on a fallen Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic with four seconds left. The ex-Spurs reserve helped out his former team by calming hitting a pair of free throws.

"I knew I was going to the line, so I was just trying to be focused," Udrih said. "I made those and we won the game."

The Lakers immediately called timeout, setting up an inbounds play from halfcourt to isolate Bryant for the game-winning shot.

However, the league's second-leading scorer had to shoot over the outstretched arm of the Kings' 6-11 forward Mikki Moore, hitting the side of the rim as time expired.

"Everybody always holds their breath when (Bryant) has a chance to win it, especially because of what type of player he is," Kings guard Kevin Martin said.

It was Sacramento's first triumph in 11 tries against Pacific Division foes, making it the last team in the league to secure an inter-divisional victory.

Martin followed up his career-high 48-point performance on Friday with 21 points for Sacramento, which had lost five straight on the road and eight of nine overall.

"It was a good team win as a whole," Martin said. "We just have to keep building off this and not worry about what happened in the past."

"This team - all year long - has been one of the teams that I think will be judged as one of the teams that plays the hardest in the league," Kings coach Reggie Theus said. "For the last couple of weeks, we have gotten away from that, but tonight we got back to playing hard and we played hard for 48 minutes."

Gasol finished with 25 points and nine assists for the Lakers, who saw their seven-game home winning streak come to an end.

"I think we were a little overconfident," Lakers forward Lamar Odom said. "We needed to be humble tonight. (But) we'll practice and we'll go get the next one."