This Lakers squad may not have playoff positioning to play for as the season comes to close, but things were different ten years ago. The Lakers front office had goals of winning another title by signing future Hall of Famers, Karl Malone and Gary Payton to contracts.
Entering the final night of the regular season, the Sacramento Kings and Lakers were tied atop the Pacific Division standings. The Lakers had their opening when the Kings lost earlier in the night to the Golden State Warriors.
With the Lakers down three in the closing seconds of regulation, Kobe Bryant hit a three point shot despite being closely guarded by Ruben Patterson to tie the game and sent it into overtime. Neither team would come up on top after additional five minutes, and another overtime period would be needed. The Lakers chances looked dim when Damon Stoudamire hit a layup with 2.2 seconds left, but Bryant answered with another clutch three to clinch the division for the Lakers and the number two seed in the playoffs.
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