LOS ANGELES (AP)—Sure looked like a rivalry.
Although Shaquille O’Neal has left Los Angeles and Vlade Divac has returned from Sacramento, the Kings’ 109-106 win over Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on Friday night seemed like business as usual between the two Pacific Division contenders.
Peja Stojakovic scored 26 points and made four consecutive free throws in the closing seconds to give the Kings their seventh straight win.
Chris Webber had 22 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists to help the Kings overcome a 40-point, eight-assist performance by Bryant.
“That was a great game,” Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. “Kobe had it going. He’s a handful.”
The Lakers are 0-6 in games when they give up 100 or more points and 7-0 when they hold the opposition under 100.
“Our nemesis is the 100-point mark,” Bryant said. “One of these days we’re going to win a game when the other team scores over 100.
“We just missed a couple of shots down the stretch. They made some tough shots and we had some open looks that just didn’t go down for us.”
The outcome wasn’t certain until the Lakers’ Lamar Odom bounced a desperation 3-pointer off the backboard and rim as time expired.
“I had the look and stepped into it, but shot a little bit too hard,” Odom said.
Stojakovic was just 6-of-17 from the floor but perfect from the line on 13 free throws, including four in the final 36 seconds.
Bryant went 15-of-19 from the line but had a costly turnover on a bad pass in the closing moments.
“Everybody is doing what they need to do,” Bibby said. “We are passing the ball and moving the ball and that is all you can really ask for.”
The Kings’ defense predictably concentrated on Bryant.
“You’re going to have to give up some shots to some other people and fortunately a couple of their guys missed when they were open,” Adelman said.
Cook gave the Lakers a 106-105 lead with 53 seconds remaining when he made one of two free throws after Christie drew a flagrant foul for knocking him down while fighting through a pick.
The Lakers kept the ball because of the flagrant foul call, but Bryant threw a bad pass, Stojakovic picked up the loose ball and was fouled.
He made the free throws for a 107-106 lead with 36 seconds remaining, then was fouled again and made another pair with 2.1 seconds left.
Divac, who rejoined the Lakers this year after playing six seasons for Sacramento, had two points in seven minutes against his former team.
Divac was playing just his second game of the season after missing the first 11 because of a herniated disc in his back. He went scoreless in five minutes in Los Angeles’ victory over Houston on Tuesday.
Trailing 68-63 midway through the third quarter, the Kings outscored Los Angeles 22-12 in the final six minutes of the period to lead 85-80 heading into the fourth.
Bryant sat out four of the last five practices because of inflammation in his left foot. … Even though O’Neal went to Miami and Divac left Sacramento to rejoin Los Angeles, Lakers first-year coach Rudy Tomjanovich said it remained rivalry. “They’re in the same division as us, we have similar records, so it looks like a rivalry to me,” Tomjanovich said.