Thursday , Mar , 23 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Bryant helps Lakers hold off Kings

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Kobe Bryant dropped in 28 points on 11-of-
20 shooting from the field, as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Sacramento
Kings, 87-80, at the Staples Center.

Kwame Brown added a season-high 21 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for the
Lakers, who have won two straight. Lamar Odom donated 13 points and had eight
rebounds with eight assists for LA, which moved into sole possession of the
seventh spot in the Western Conference playoff race.

Ron Artest paced Sacramento with 18 points and 10 rebounds as the Kings have
lost three of their last four overall. Bonzi Wells came off the bench to score
15 points and grab nine rebounds.

The Lakers led by as many as 20 points in the contest and never trailed.

“It was a big win for us,” said LA head coach Phil Jackson. “We caused a lot
of turnovers and stepped up the tempo knowing they played last night.”

Led by Bryant’s 10 first-quarter points on 5-of-5 shooting from the field, the
Lakers jumped out to a 30-14 lead after the opening frame. The key to the
period was Los Angeles opening the contest on a 15-5 run.

The Kings outscored the Lakers 26-23 in the second stanza, but still trailed
53-40 at the break.

Bryant had 15 at halftime, while Brown added 11 points and six rebounds.

The second half was more of the same as the Lakers continued to run in front.

LA opened the third period on an 8-2 run to take a 61-42 lead. The Lakers went
on to outscore the Kings 19-18 in the quarter to take a 72-58 lead into the
final frame.

In the fourth quarter, the Kings outscored the Lakers 22-15 and managed to get
within five points late, but it was not enough as Los Angeles held on.

“We had open shots, but couldn’t make them,” said Sacramento head coach Rick
Adelman. “They stayed ahead about 15 points and we could never catch up.”

Game Notes

The Lakers improved to 19-13 as the host this season…LA shot 43 percent from
the field for the game…Brad Miller had a double-double for the Kings with 12
points and 10 boards…Sacramento committed 19 turnovers, 10 of which came in
the first half.