Lakers: Jodie Meeks (Dec 7 1:34 ET ) Meeks made two huge 3-pointers in the final minutes to finish with 19 points, lifting the Los Angeles Lakers past the Sacramento Kings 106-100 Friday night in what was expected to their last game before Kobe Bryant returns.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Guard Wesley Johnson found Los Angeles Lakers backcourt teammate Jodie Meeks wide open in the corner, spotted up behind the 3-point line and got him the basketball. Meeks' 3-pointer with 1:08 left proved Johnson right, hitting nothing but net and capping a 19-point night that helped lift the Lakers past the Sacramento Kings 106-100 at Sleep Train Arena on Friday. It also symbolized the way the Lakers have played without forward Kobe Bryant, their 15-time All-Star who announced he will return Sunday when Los Angeles hosts the Toronto Raptors. Meeks' 3-pointer gave the Lakers a two-possession lead that they didn't relinquish and came during a 10-0 run over a 2:42 stretch late in the fourth quarter that was fueled by three Lakers steals, two of them by Johnson.
The Los Angeles Lakers navigated the first 19 games of the season without star Kobe Bryant well enough to welcome him back with a winning record. Jodie Meeks made two huge 3-pointers in the final minutes to finish with 19 points, lifting the Lakers past the Sacramento Kings 106-100 Friday night in what's expected to be their last game before Bryant returns. ''You know who he is, he's Kobe Bryant. But he's not going to be able to do it by himself,'' said Lakers center Jordan Hill, who had seven points and nine rebounds.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Guard Jodie Meeks scored 19 points and made the biggest shot of the game, hitting a 3-pointer with 1:08 remaining as the Los Angeles Lakers geared up for the return of Kobe Bryant by edging the Sacramento Kings 106-100 on Friday night at Sleep Train Arena. Meeks, whose playing time has increased in Bryant's absence, made a 24-footer from the top of the key to give Los Angeles a two-possession lead that the Kings could not overcome. Forward Pau Gasol also scored 19 points for the Lakers, and his fade-away jumper from the top of the key put Los Angeles ahead to stay at 98-97 with 1:30 to go. The Lakers overcame an 87-77 deficit in the final 14 minutes and will be above .500 (10-9) when they welcome Bryant back on Sunday against the Toronto Raptors.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Jodie Meeks made two huge 3-pointers in the final minutes to finish with 19 points, lifting the Los Angeles Lakers past the Sacramento Kings 106-100 Friday night in what was expected to their last game before Kobe Bryant returns. Pau Gasol had 19 points and seven rebounds, and Steve Blake added 13 points and 10 assists for the Lakers, who held the Kings scoreless for nearly 3 1/2 minutes until Ben McLemore's meaningless 3-pointer with 6.9 seconds remaining. The Lakers are figuring to get an even bigger boost when Bryant returns against Toronto on Sunday, nearly eight months since undergoing surgery on his torn left Achilles tendon. The Lakers outshot the Kings 47.7 to 43 percent but were outrebounded 51-36.