LOS ANGELES(AP) Kobe Bryant hit yet another buzzer-beating 3-pointer and finished with 39 points as the Los Angeles Lakers overcame a 20-point deficit to beat the Sacramento Kings 109-108 on Friday night.
Lamar Odom had a season-high 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the NBA-leading Lakers (26-6). Pau Gasol had 17 points, 16 rebounds and four assists – one of which set up Bryant’s clutch basket from in front of the Sacramento bench.
Andrew Bynum added 16 points and four rebounds.
Ron Artest missed his fourth straight game because of a concussion.
Spencer Hawes had a career-high 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Kings, Omri Casspi scored 23 points, and Beno Udrih added 19 points and 13 assists.
The Lakers came out as flat as half-empty champagne bottles left over from New Year’s Eve, shooting 37 percent from the field in the first half and trailing 64-49 at intermission. Derek Fisher was the biggest offender, missing nine of 10 shots in the half while the Kings had the highest-scoring half by a Lakers opponent this season.
Fisher, who had six points, played 9 minutes in the third quarter without taking a shot, then sat out the entire fourth quarter.
The sellout crowd let the Lakers feel their pain, booing them loudly after Jon Brockman’s layup gave Sacramento a 38-23 lead with 9:12 left in the second quarter. The Kings built the lead to 20 at 52-32 with a 3-pointer by Ime Udoka that capped a 26-9 run with 5:06 left in the half.
In their previous game, Tuesday night at Staples Center, the Lakers fell behind by 15 points to Golden State and gave up 60 points in the first half before pulling out a 124-118 win. The last time they won a game in which they trailed by 20 or more points was Dec. 12, 2006, when they erased a 21-point deficit in a 112-101 double-overtime win against Houston at Los Angeles.
NOTES: According to Lakers coach Phil Jackson, it looks as though Artest will be back playing by early next week, following the fall at his home on Christmas night that caused the concussion, a deep cut on his left elbow and a slight loss of memory. “He’s improved significantly in the last two days, and optimistic that he’ll be able to practice soon – probably not a full-out practice with contact tomorrow, but will have non-contact activity with the team,” Jackson said. “There’s a number of checks they go through with concussions, like speech patterns. But with Ron, that doesn’t work.” … This was only the third time in the last 36 years that the Lakers played on New Year’s Day. Their overall record on Jan. 1 is 9-6.