In somewhat of an oddity, the Los Angeles Lakers found themselves playing Dec. 26, 2009, in the second night of a back-to-back. They were coming off a Christmas loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and were saved by Kobe Bryant from suffering another defeat.
The Sacramento Kings held a slim lead, which they lost in the third quarter, despite Bryant losing feeling in his right arm after hitting his funny bone. He said postgame he wasn’t quite sure which sequence caused his shooting arm to begin spazzing and go numb.
Bryant made his first five shots and finished with 16 points in the third quarter. He received treatment and played for much of the fourth, but relied heavily on his left arm. Bryant missed all four of his shot attempts in the quarter.
He did manage to knock the ball away from then-rookie Tyreke Evans, preventing him from getting off a shot and sending the game into overtime. And prior to that, Bryant snagged a rebound with his left hand and accurately threw an outlet pass to Shannon Brown.
Five minutes weren’t enough and the teams played into a second overtime. Lamar Odom opened that with an offensive rebound and go-ahead basket, giving the Lakers a lead they never relinquished.
Los Angeles outscored Sacramento, 11-2, in the second overtime. They received a late flurry from Bryant, who connected on back-to-back 3-points with just over two minutes remaining.
Pau Gasol had 24 points and 11 rebounds, while Brown scored 15 points, and Odom had 13 points and 15 rebounds. Bryant finished with a game-high 38 points on 16-of-30 shooting, to go along with seven rebounds, four assists and four steals.
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