Trans. Dec 6 9:19 ET (Dec 6 9:19 ET ) 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.
COMMENTARY | With Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant both returning to Los Angeles Lakers' practice on Tuesday, either or both could return to game action as early as Friday at Sacramento. "There will be an adjustment period," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said after Sunday's game. If Bryant is the first guy back, he will move into the starting lineup with Steve Blake alongside him. Jodie Meeks will likely go to the bench and take on the role of guarding the opposition's backup point guard.
LOS ANGELES -- Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points and point guard Damian Lillard added 26 and nine assists as the Portland Trail Blazers held off the Los Angeles Lakers for a 114-108 victory Sunday night at Staples Center. Guard Wes Matthews finished with 17 points, while center Robin Lopez had 12 points and 12 rebounds as Portland (14-3) bounced back from having its 11-game winning streak ended in Phoenix on Wednesday night. Forward Xavier Henry led the Lakers with 27 points. Point guard Steve Blake had 13 points and nine assists.
Xavier Henry had another one of those solid games that Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni wishes he could get from his guard on a consistent basis. Henry scored 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, Pau Gasol had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and the Lakers beat the Sacramento Kings 100-86 Sunday night. ''So I just came out and played the same game, but I just was just a little more aggressive.'' Steve Blake finished with 12 assists, nine points and five rebounds. The 11-year veteran, who has started all 14 games for the Lakers at point guard in place of the injured Steve Nash, has recorded double digits in assists in each of the last five.
Pau Gasol and Nick Young did a remarkable job keeping the Los Angeles Lakers together without their two injured stars. The Golden State Warriors had better take notes, because their injury problems just got worse. Gasol had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Young scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half, and the Lakers took advantage of Stephen Curry's absence for a 102-95 victory over Golden State on Friday night. Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake scored 14 points apiece as Los Angeles returned from four days off to win consecutive games for the first time all season.