AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
By Shawn Whelchel
A late surge from Kobe Bryant helped the Los Angeles Lakers complete their second-half comeback attempt against a struggling Sacramento Kings squad for a 98-95 victory at Staples Center Tuesday night.
Even after 19-years in the league, the 36-year old Bryant showed why he is still considered one of the best closers in the game by adding 9 of his 32-points on the night within the waning minutes of the 4th quarter.
While the Lakers began to surge, the Kings went cold, shooting just 5-for-17 during a crucial fourth quarter, including two three-point attempts from Rudy Gay and Nik Stauskas within the final seconds of the game that could have potentially salvaged the disastrous effort.
The Kings were led by Darren Collison’s 26-point, 6 assist effort. Collison was closely followed by Gay, who added 23 points and five assists for Sacramento as well. The Kings continue to miss DeMarcus Cousins as they were outscored 36-28 in the paint as well.
The Kings led by as many as 12-points in the third quarter. but could not contain Bryant and the Lakers, who were aided by the 27-total points off the bench from Carlos Boozer and Nick Young.
On top of going stagnant late in the game, the Kings continue to have turnover issues, as they committed 16 turnovers for 21-points on the night. After losing the last 6-of-8 games, Sacramento will look to stay above .500 as they take on the Houston Rockets at home Thursday night.