Pau Gasol and Ron Artest each scored 18 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 98-95 win over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night in a preseason game at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Kobe Bryant had seven points, four rebounds, and two assists while playing just under 19 minutes. He played nine minutes in the first and third quarters.
Shannon Brown added 17 points for the two-time defending champions.
Los Angeles, which led by 15 going into the fourth quarter, was playing their first game in America this season after losing two games on a European trip last week.
Carl Landry led Sacramento (2-3) with 23 points and eight rebounds. Tyreke Evans added 13 points and eight assists.
Sacramento rookie DeMarcus Cousins, chosen fifth in June's draft out of Kentucky, had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
By halftime, Sacramento managed a 47-46 halftime lead on a Landry basket with three seconds left. But the Lakers took the lead for good on Bryant's free throw with 6:52 left in the third and eventually built a 74-59 advantage to end the third. Sacramento was outscored 28-12 in the period.
The Kings cut the lead to 98-95 with under 10 seconds left, but could get no closer.