Although Shaquille O'Neal has left Los Angeles and Vlade Divac
has returned from Sacramento, the Kings' 109-106 win over Kobe
Bryant and the Lakers on Friday night seemed like business as usual
between the two Pacific Division contenders.
Peja Stojakovic scored 26 points and made four consecutive free
throws in the closing seconds to give the Kings their seventh
Chris Webber had 22 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists to
help the Kings overcome a 40-point, eight-assist performance by
"That was a great game," Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said.
"Kobe had it going. He's a handful."
The Lakers are 0-6 in games when they give up 100 or more points
and 7-0 when they hold the opposition under 100.
"Our nemesis is the 100-point mark," Bryant said. "One of
these days we're going to win a game when the other team scores
"We just missed a couple of shots down the stretch. They made
some tough shots and we had some open looks that just didn't go
down for us."
The outcome wasn't certain until the Lakers' Lamar Odom bounced
a desperation 3-pointer off the backboard and rim as time expired.
"I had the look and stepped into it, but shot a little bit too
hard," Odom said.
Stojakovic was just 6-of-17 from the floor but perfect from the
line on 13 free throws, including four in the final 36 seconds.
Bryant went 15-of-19 from the line but had a costly turnover on
a bad pass in the closing moments.
The Kings' defense predictably concentrated on Bryant.
"You're going to have to give up some shots to some other
people and fortunately a couple of their guys missed when they were
open," Adelman said.
Cook gave the Lakers a 106-105 lead with 53 seconds remaining
when he made one of two free throws after Christie drew a flagrant
foul for knocking him down while fighting through a pick.
The Lakers kept the ball because of the flagrant foul call, but
Bryant threw a bad pass, Stojakovic picked up the loose ball and
He made the free throws for a 107-106 lead with 36 seconds
remaining, then was fouled again and made another pair with 2.1
Divac, who rejoined the Lakers this year after playing six
seasons for Sacramento, had two points in seven minutes against his
Divac was playing just his second game of the season after
missing the first 11 because of a herniated disc in his back. He
went scoreless in five minutes in Los Angeles' victory over Houston
Trailing 68-63 midway through the third quarter, the Kings
outscored Los Angeles 22-12 in the final six minutes of the period
to lead 85-80 heading into the fourth.
Bryant sat out four of the last five practices because of
inflammation in his left foot. ... Even though O'Neal went to Miami
and Divac left Sacramento to rejoin Los Angeles, Lakers first-year
coach Rudy Tomjanovich said it remained rivalry. "They're in the
same division as us, we have similar records, so it looks like a
rivalry to me," Tomjanovich said.