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(Friday, December 6th)
Final Score: LA Lakers 106, Sacramento 100
Sacramento, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Pau Gasol and Jodie Meeks both dropped in 19 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 106-100 win over the Sacramento Kings on Friday.
Nick Young scored 14 and Steve Blake finished with 13 points and 10 assists for the Lakers, winners in six of their last eight.
In addition to the win, Los Angeles also learned that star guard Kobe Bryant will make his season debut on Sunday against Toronto. Bryant suffered a torn Achilles in his left leg on April 12, and has been out of action since.
"We're ready to help him out anyway possible. He's a great player, so he's going to come back and play well, we're not worried about that. But it's our job as role players to help him out and knock down shots," Meeks said of Bryant's return.
DeMarcus Cousins scored 20 points and pulled down 11 rebounds and Ben McLemore also scored 20 for the Kings, losers in six straight.
The Lakers were down 87-81 entering the final frame but used a quick 9-3 burst to tie the game.
The Kings pushed the lead back to four, 97-93, after a pair of Cousins' free throws, but the Lakers rattled off 13 straight points to put the game out of reach.
After Meeks drained a trey with 2:43 remaining, Gasol knocked down a jumper from the wing to put LA ahead 98-97.
Following a turnover, Meeks buried another triple and Wesley Johnson stripped McLemore and found Young for a pullup jumper and a 103-97 edge and the Lakers held on for the win.
"It was a bad stretch at the end of the game. We definitely beat ourselves," said Cousins.
Sacramento led 30-28 after 12 minutes and took a 55-47 lead into the break. The Kings' lead swelled to double figures several times in the third quarter before the Lakers cut the margin to six entering the final stanza.
Johnson added 13 points and Robert Sacre had 11 points for the Lakers ... LA scored 24 points off 17 Kings turnovers ... Isaiah Thomas finished with 14 points and nine assists off the bench for Sacramento ... McLemore set a career-high with 20 points.
12/07 02:19:40 ET