“When he’s out, everyone steps their game up,” Bibby said. “We were a little more aggressive.”
Cuttino Mobley added 23 points and 10 assists, Maurice Evans scored 16, Kenny Thomas 15 and Corliss Williamson 11. Stojakovic had 14 points before leaving for good with a strained left groin. Coach Rick Adelman said he’ll sit out Saturday’s game at Phoenix.
The playoff-bound Kings won the season series 3-1 and also their third in a row away from home.
“We’re going to have to win on the road because that’s where we’re going to start (the playoffs),” Adelman said. “We played well the first half. We really got stagnant in the fourth and didn’t run our offense. There was too much 1-on-1, but we were good enough to pull it out.”
Six Lakers scored in double figures, led by Caron Butler with 34 points and Jumaine Jones with 17. Chris Mihm had 15 points in his return after missing five games with a sprained right ankle. Devean George added 12 points and Chucky Atkins had 10.
“I tried to be more aggressive and go into attack mode,” Butler said. “The effort was there, but we’re not into moral victories right now because we want to win.”
Luke Walton barely missed a triple-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists starting in place of Bryant.
Bryant missed the game to be with his ailing wife, who had an ectopic pregnancy in which a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. His status for the Lakers’ final three games is uncertain.
“We definitely picked up our effort,” Walton said. “We have to play like that for 48 minutes if you want to win against good teams.”
The Lakers lost their third straight overall and fourth in a row at home.
“We were short without Kobe,” Butler said. “The chemistry is coming, but it’s a little too late.”
Playing their first game in five days, the Kings led by 19 points early in the third quarter. The Lakers whittled their deficit to 12 by the end of the period, helped by Jones, who scored 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting and two 3-pointers.
The Lakers got to 96-91 on two free throws by Butler with 9:12 remaining. But Bibby answered with six in a row to put the Kings ahead 104-97.
He gave the Lakers an opening by missing two free throws with the Kings ahead 104-99. But Jones’ 3-pointer from the top of the key missed and Williamson completed a three-point play for a 107-99 lead.
Brian Grant got the Lakers within five by making the second of two free throws before Bibby and Mobley scored consecutive baskets for a 111-102 lead with less than a minute to go, driving the fans from their seats.
Adelman earned his 707th career victory, tying him with John MacLeod for 14th on the NBA’s list. He ranks fourth in wins among active coaches, behind Detroit’s Larry Brown, Utah’s Jerry Sloan and Denver’s George Karl. … The Lakers placed G Tierre Brown on the injured list with left knee tendinitis. … Lakers F Lamar Odom, on the injured list, said he’ll have surgery early next week to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder and won’t be able to shoot a basketball for a few months. … New Los Angeles Sparks coach Henry Bibby attended the game to see his son, Mike.