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News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

December 26, 2011
Kings hold off Lakers' late charge, win 100-91

Kings coach Paul Westphal addresses the media following his team's 100-91 win over the Lakers.

With 4:04 remaining and the Kings' once-15 point lead cut to two points, Marcus Thornton calmly stepped up and delivered a 26-foot three-pointer to stop the slide.

The shot sparked an 11-4 run to close out the game that gave the Kings a 100-91 win over the Lakers in their season-opener in front of a raucous crowd at Power Balance Pavilion.

"It was loud in there and our players really liked the feel of that game," Kings head coach Paul Westphal said. "The fans were just fantastic. I thought we played a real solid game for 48 minutes, both ends of the floor. Team basketball, defense, offense, moving the ball. Really liked the contributions we got from everybody we played. So that was a nice win for us."

Thornton finished with 27 points on 9-of-13 shooting, and Tyreke Evans contributed 20 points. DeMarcus Cousins, after a rough first half, had a team-high 11 rebounds to go with 12 points.

Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 29 points. Metta World Peace had 19 points, and Pau Gasol finished with 15 points and 9 rebounds.

The Kings shot 9-of-18 from beyond the arc; the Lakers finished 1-of-16 from long distance.

"It shows that we're growing," said forward-center Chuck Hayes. "It was a quick test early in a short season, and we responded well."

-- Matt Kawahara

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