Lakers-Kings: Kobe Bryant Saves Lackluster Los Angeles

Superman’s was Lex Luthor, Batman’s was the Joker, Spiderman’s was the Green Goblin, and the Los Angeles Lakers’ arch enemy has proven to be the unlikely Kings early in the 2009-2010 season.


Similar to these heroes, the Lakers seem to always find a way to prevail over their opponent.


This time, Los Angeles needed a last second three by their personal superhero, Kobe Bryant, to defeat their nemesis.


The Kings visited Los Angeles following a devastating overtime loss at Arco Arena on Dec. 26 to the Lakers, looking to better their disappointing road record of 3-11.


The Lakers entered the first game of the New Year, against the 14-17 Kings, lacking forward and defensive cornerstone, Ron Artest, which would prove to hurt them greatly early in the game.


Though the Kings entered Los Angeles without team leaders Kevin Martin and Francisco Garcia, not to mention rookie sensation Tyreke Evens, Sacramento stayed with the lackluster Lakers offensively in the first quarter with a strong start by Israeli-born forward, Omri Casspi, who had 11 points and four rebounds in the first period of play.


Notorious for slow starts and late-game heroics, the Lakers relied on pivotal starts from the men in the paint with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.


Sacramento began the game with intense perimeter pressure and precise passing early, allowing their shooters to find easy shots out of the gate.


Gasol finished the quarter with 10 points, keeping the Lakers within five after one. Kobe Bryant was once again amiss early; converting on only one of five attempts in the first.


The Kings finished the first quarter shooting 51 percent from the field, along with the lead over the world champion...

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