Lakers vs Sacramento: Lakers beat Kings in OT; will face New Orleans in playoffs
Lakers 116, Kings 108 (OT)
It took overtime, but the Lakers finally pulled out the victory over the Kings after blowing a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter.
The victory means that the Lakers will play the New Orleans Hornets in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, with Game 1 set for 12:30 p.m. Sunday at Staples Center.
Kobe Bryant had 36 points, including a three-pointer that tied the score at 99-99 with 4.8 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Lakers 99, Kings 99 (end of fourth quarter)
The Lakers blew a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter and trailed, 99-96, after Beno Udrih made two free throws with 9.6 seconds left.
But Kobe Bryant made a three-pointer with 4.8 seconds left to tie the score at 99-99. Bryant just glared at the crowd as he walked to the Lakers' bench during a Sacramento timeout.
Bryant then blocked a shot by Marcus Thornton, sending the game into overtime.
Lakers 88, Kings 70 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers went to work in the third quarter, opening an 18-point lead.
By the end of the quarter, Kobe Bryant had 23 points on nine-for-13 shooting and Pau Gasol had 16 points on seven-for-14 shooting in the game.
Through three quarters, the Lakers were shooting 57.4% from the field.
Lakers 56, Kings 48 (end of first half)
The Lakers opened the second quarter with a 9-0 run, opening a 10-point lead that grew to 16.
The Lakers shot 51.2% from the field in the first half.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 13 points and Pau Gasol had 11 in the first half.
Kings guard Marcus Thornton has 17 points on seven-of-13 shooting from the field, including two of four from three-point range.
Lakers 31, Kings 26 (end of first quarter)
Behind Kobe Bryant's nine points and Lamar Odom's seven, the Lakers opened a five-point lead over the Sacramento Kings after the first quarter tonight at Arco Arena.
Pau Gasol also had six points for the Lakers.
Marcus Thornton led the Kings with 15 points.
The Lakers know they need a victory in order to lock up the second seeding in the Western Conference.
Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said that's all they are concerned about.
His team just broke a five-game losing streak and is looking forward to pushing the modest winning streak to two in a row with a victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night in the regular-season finale.
This also could be the last time the Kings play in Sacramento. They are looking at moving to Honda Center in Anaheim for next season.
-- Broderick Turner, reporting from Sacramento
Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant drives past Kings guard Francisco Garcia in the first half Wednesday night at Arco Arena in Sacramento. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli /Associated Press