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We took a look at a fantastic double overtime Lakers – Kings contest in California’s capital city while it was happening, entering a thought or three each quarter as the Lakers earned their fifth straight road win.
Lakers: Ron Artest
Kings: Kevin Martin, Francisco Garcia
Lakers: Fisher, Bryant, Odom*, Gasol and Bynum
Kings: Beno Udrih, Tyreke Evans, Donte Green, Jason Thompson, Spencer Hawes
*Odom’s started in place of Ron Artest (see below)
Artest Out with Concussion
Much of the pregame discussion centered around the absence of Ron Artest, who fell down the stairs and suffered a concussion and a minor injury to his left elbow. Artest, who did not make the trip to Sacramento with the team, could join the team in Phoenix, though Phil Jackson said that more tests would be needed before his starting small forward could be cleared. Jackson said that the team would most miss Artest’s “physical presence.”
11:43 Would Gasol’s tip-in of Bynum’s early miss be a harbinger for increased low post activity tonight? Christmas Day was not a good one for L.A.’s big men, who seemed eager to redeem themselves.
3:45 The bigs were key as the Lakers matched an expectedly energetic burst out of the gates from the Kings, but an 8-0 run capped by Donte Green’s third field goal put the Kings up 23-15. Meanwhile, techno music continued to pound out of the ARCO speakers (the cast of “Jersey Shore” would be right at home).
0:00 An impressive close to the quarter got the Lakers within three (31-28) when Bryant nailed a tough fadeaway jumper at the buzzer. Moments earlier, he had channeled three-peat Kobe in slashing through traffic for a monster jam that had the considerable number of Lakers fans in the building punching each other with joy.
9:32 Though Odom’s tip in of a Bryant miss brought the Lakers within a single point, it was offensive boards at the other end that were killing them. The Kings had grabbed seven, and also taken advantage of seven Lakers turnovers.
4:44 Playing well in extended time off the bench was Vujacic, who’d earlier nailed his only field goal attempt (a three), then capped a solid stretch of defense with a tough rebound in traffic.
0:00 Doing his Bryant impression, Beno Udrih nailed a buzzer-beating jumper to close a quarter. His came from three, and gave the Kings a 57-55 lead. Bryant led L.A. with 14, while Gasol added 12 on a perfect 5-of-5 from the field.
12:00 Odom couldn’t resist breaking out a lil’ dance under the hoop as Nelly’s “Air Force Ones” came on near the end of halftime (can’t blame him). He was pretty effective in the first half with nine points, three boards, an assist, steal and block in Artest’s absence, so we’ll give it to him.
4:56 Bryant swished his fourth straight jumper, a triple, to get to 25 points (11 in the quarter) in putting L.A. up a point. Incredible that he has so much left in his legs after playing nearly the whole game just yesterday.
0:37.9 What a third quarter from the defending Finals MVP … as the Lakers struggled to get calls at both ends, Bryant pulled up from 25 feet and nailed a three over Udoka. Then he stripped Udoka at the other end and sprinted forward for another dunk. He finished with 16 points in the quarter, tying the game at 78, but appeared to hurt his elbow near the end…
8:33 Bryant indeed strained his right elbow, and appeared to be favoring it heavily when returning to the game after a quick trip to the locker room after the third quarter. Of course, he remained in the game.
4:23 Brown continued a fantastic individual game by nailing a three-pointer to give L.A. a one-point lead, then nailing a 13-foot jumper in the lane, and finally converting a tough and-1 layup after a fullcourt, left-handed pass from Kobe for a five-point lead. That gave Brown eight in the quarter and 14 in the game (three off his season high), to go along with seven rebounds off the bench, a career high in boards.
0:51.7 Did I mention that Bryant couldn’t use his right arm, but remained in the game, not shooting and passing only with his left hand? Unfortunately for L.A., SAC took advantage in stripping him, then blocking his left-handed attempt from the baseline when Gasol dropped the ball off to him late in the shot clock. Udrih then missed a jumper at the other end, and Gasol drew a foul … but missed both free throws. Very surprising from a guy who shoots nearly 90 percent.
0:02.0 Having scored the last six points of the fourth, the Kings cleared out for Evans with plenty of time to try and win the game, but Bryant stripped him (crazy) to force overtime.
2:39 Udrih’s jumper was the seventh straight point in overtime and 13th overall for the Kings. Bryant had attempted two jumpers after not even trying in the fourth quarter, but missed both.
1:27 Just when the Lakers looked dead, they went on a 5-0 run capped by Bryant’s steal and dropped-in dunk at the other end to cut Sacramento’s lead to two.
00.4 Amazingly, Gasol tipped in Fisher’s buzzer-beating attempt that had rimmed out, getting his right hand on the ball with literally no time to spare. Bryant had gone for the win with a three at 5.9 seconds remaining, and Fish had grabbed the long rebound.
2:37 What would you say if I told you that Bryant nailed not one, but two deep three-pointers to put the Lakers up six? Would you believe me? Of course you would, and it happened.
0:40.5 After three straight Kings misses from the perimeter, Fisher drew the foul and hit both free throws, the game all but over as the Kings fans looked on in shock. L.A.’s bench players were still marveling at Bryant’s back-to-back triples. Smiles, laughter, impersonations, etc… The game ended moments later, an 11-2 margin in the second OT sealing the deal in style. What a game.
0 Points for the Lakers from the 3:35 mark of the fourth quarter until Gasol finally hit a free throw at the 2:27 mark of overtime after missing the first of two.
7 Rebounds off the bench for Shannon Brown, a career high. Brown also contributed eight big fourth quarter points, and was joined by Sasha Vujacic in the “good-game-off-the-pine” group.
11 Blocks from L.A.’s superb at-rim defense, including a season-high-tying six from Pau Gasol, plus two each from Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom.
26 Combined rebounds from Lamar Odom (15) and Pau Gasol (11).
30 Points through three quarters for Kobe Bryant, before his strained right elbow kept him scoring until the OT was nearly over. His back-to-back threes in double OT got him to 38 points on 16-of-30 shooting.