Lakers work extra long to beat Kings

The Lakers endured a rough Christmas, undoubtedly, with a ragged loss to Cleveland, a foam-finger flingfest by fans, and a head injury suffered by Ron Artest later at home, “Los Angeles Times” notes.

Dec. 26 wasn’t quite so hard on them thanks to a pair of well-timed three-point baskets by Kobe Bryant. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t another loss, the Lakers beating back the feisty Sacramento Kings in double overtime, 112-103, Saturday at Arco Arena.

Bryant was more efficient, scoring 38 points on 16-for-30 shooting after a wild 11-for-32 shooting effort against Cleveland. He made two three-pointers in double overtime, one from the right side with 3 minutes 36 seconds left and another from the top with 2:40 left to give the Lakers all the cushion they would need.

The Kings couldn’t answer. The Lakers (24-5) had ended their losing streak at one.

Before it was over, Bryant suffered an injury of his own, a strained right elbow after being hit on his funny bone near the end of the third quarter. After a routine shot that ended up an airball, Bryant began flexing his arm in pain, went back to the locker room for treatment and came back a few minutes into the fourth quarter, conducting on-court business primarily with his left hand.

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