The win was critical for the Lakers for a couple of reasons. For one, it created breathing room between them and the Utah Jazz, who had closed to within a half-game of LA's No. 8 spot with a solid victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on March. 16.
Antawn Jamison led the Lakers with 27 points, and Dwight Howard chipped in 12 points and 17 rebounds as the Lakers pulled away down the stretch behind a barrage of threes from Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jamison.
LA figures to get both Bryant and the injured Pau Gasol back in the reasonably near future, but thanks to some big-time performances from unlikely sources, they managed to handle the Kings rather easily.
On the night, the Lakers shot nearly 57 percent as a team and out-rebounded the Kings by a plus-10 margin, so you can bet there'll be some pretty generous grades after a short-handed performance like the one they turned in on Sunday.