In typical Laker fashion, Saturday night's 103-98 victory over the Sacramento Kings was not without drama. First, Steve Nash headed to the locker room just two minutes in to a disastrous opening quarter with a right hamstring strain. Then, Kobe Bryant passed Wilt Chamberlain for fourth place on the NBA's all-time scoring list with 8:50 left in the second quarter.
Bryant's 31,421st point came as the Lakers stormed back from a 12-point deficit in the second quarter to trail by just four at halftime. Bryant's historic night wasn't exactly his finest, as he scored 19 points on 5-of-18 shooting, but he did add 14 assists in Nash's absence and played every single minute of the game.
The Lakers took a seven-point lead heading in to the fourth, but the Kings managed to chip away, getting as close as three with 24 seconds left. That's when DeMarcus Cousins attempted a three-pointer that was blocked by Dwight Howard. Cousins then got the ball back and attempted a second three that came up short. Cousins and Kings head coach Keith Smart both wanted a foul called on the first three point attempt, where it appeared Howard jumped in to Cousins on the shot attempt.
Bryant then sank two free throws to put the Lakers up five. A third Cousins three-pointer was off, effectively ending the game. The win kept the Lakers tied with the Utah Jazz for eighth place in the Western Conference, but the Jazz hold the tie breaker. They next face the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday, who trail the Lakers by just one game.