Now with basketball back in action, Laker Nation has decided to continue to take you back through Laker history to recap important games, record-breaking performances and memorable news from the past 64 years of the franchise.
DECEMBER 26, 2009
LA LAKERS 112 – SACRAMENTO KINGS 103
BRYANT OVERCOMES ELBOW SPRAIN, ABSENCE OF ARTEST TO DEFEAT KINGS IN DOUBLE OVERTIME
After tonight’s loss at Arco Arena, let’s take you back to a happy place – a place where the Lakers could beat the Sacramento Kings, even if it took an overtime or two. It’s a place that Laker fans may remember as being quite recent, since it took place two years ago today.
Following their 102-87 Christmas Day loss to LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Lakers took a quick flight to Sacramento to play the Kings, except by this point the Lakers had already lost one player: Lakers forward Metta World Peace, then Ron Artest, had fallen down in his home the night following the Cavaliers game, earning himself some stitches, and injured elbow and a concussion. Artest would not travel to Sacramento.
Not to be outdone by Artest’s elbow injury, Kobe Bryant would suffer one of his own, a strained right elbow after being hit on his funny bone near the end of the third quarter. Bryant would continue the fourth quarter operating primarily with his left arm as a result. With Lamar Odom filling in for Artest, the Lakers would play Kings basketball for 47 minutes with the game tied 94-94 before Kings guard Tyreke Evans would attempt to drive for the game-winning basket with 23.3 seconds remaining. However, when Bryant would poke the ball away as the rookie guard tried to drive on him, the game would go to overtime.
Down 101-99 in the first period of extra time, Bryant and Fisher would both miss shots in the final seconds before a Pau Gasol tip-in with 0.4 seconds would tie the score and send the Lakers and Kings to a second overtime. The Kings would not survive the second extra period, as two quick three-pointers from Bryant would seal their fate. Bryant would score a game-high 38 points in the 112-103 victory over the Kings, moving the Lakers to 24-5 and ending their one-game losing streak.
Quote of the Night: “”I couldn’t bring it back, cock it and shoot it like I normally do. I just kind of had to change it up a little bit, knocked a couple down. The moment came for me to step up and knock down a shot and the defender relaxed. He had his hands down, gave me a good look at it, I squared up and knocked it down.” – Laker guard Kobe Bryant on his 38-point performance against the Kings. Bryant would lead the Lakers in scoring despite a sprained right elbow. - From the LA Times, Dec. 27, 2009