Friday , Feb , 27 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Kings crown Lakers at Staples Center

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Mike Bibby buried two big three-pointers
down the stretch and finished with 31 points, leading the Sacramento Kings to
a 103-101 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.

Peja Stojakovic netted a game-high 37 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the
Kings, who have won four in a row. Doug Christie was the only other scorer in
double figures with 13 points as Sacramento improved to 2-0 versus the Lakers
this season.

“Right now we’re going to savor this win, go home and rest,” Bibby said. “It
was a big win,” Bibby added. “They’re (Lakers) right behind us in the
division.”

Kobe Bryant missed a desperation three-pointer at the end of the game and
scored 35 points for Los Angeles. Bryant also had 11 rebounds and six assists
but the Lakers had their five-game win streak halted.

Shaquille O’Neal chipped in 24 points and 10 rebounds in a losing cause.

Sacramento grabbed a 90-85 lead about four minutes into the fourth quarter on
a Stojakovic three and an Anthony Peeler basket in succession. With about 6
1/2 minutes remaining, the Kings took a 92-86 edge on a Stojakovic layup.

O’Neal later buried 1-of-2 foul shots with 4:45 left and the Lakers were
within two at 94-92. Los Angeles then evened the score when O’Neal threw down
a one-handed jam in the face of Vlade Divac.

Bryant’s driving layup off a nice look from Gary Payton put the Lakers back in
front, 96-94 with less than three minutes to go. Peeler, though, converted a
three-point play and the Kings took a one-point lead with 2:04 remaining.

With 1:38 on the clock, Bryant was sent to the line and drained both shots to
give LA a 98-97 lead. Bibby, however, answered with consecutive three-pointers
and the Kings led 103-98 with 45.2 seconds left.

“He was the man,” Stojakovic said of his teammate Bibby.

Bryant wasn’t phased and knocked down a three-pointer of his own, making it
103-101. He then had a chance to give Los Angeles the win, but his three in
the waning seconds caromed off the front of the rim.

“It looked like it was going to go in,” Bibby said of Bryant’s last-second
shot.

After the Kings grabbed an 8-7 lead on a Stojakovic three-pointer, Los Angeles
scored eight in a row for a 15-8 lead. Devean George capped the run with a
jumper midway through the quarter. The rest of the stanza was tightly
contested with the Lakers ahead, 29-28, after 12 minutes of play.

The Kings took back the lead early in the second quarter, but LA eventually
claimed a 41-35 advantage thanks to a pair of free throws by Stanislav
Medvedenko. The Lakers remained in control after the first half, leading by a
57-49 score.

Bibby led all scorers with 19 points at halftime, while Bryant paced the
Lakers with 18.

Stojakovic lit up the scoreboard in the third quarter, burying a three-pointer
to pull Sacramento within 69-62. He then sank two from the charity stripe and
the Kings were down, 75-70, with about four minutes left. Stojakovic finished
with 18 points in the quarter, but LA led by an 81-80 score after three.

LAL SAC