LAS VEGAS -- After two losses in Europe, the Los Angeles Lakers seemed more comfortable playing in the U.S.
Kobe Bryant finished with seven points, four rebounds, and two assists in almost 19 minutes. Bryant played in roughly the first nine minutes of the first and third quarters and was 2 for 10 from the field.
"Kobe looks better to us," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "He didn't shoot the ball too well, but he ran like he was more fluid. It looks more like he starting to have a little bounce in his step. I was pleased, even though, he didn't shoot the ball well."
Los Angeles led by 15 going into the fourth before the Kings had a chance to tie in the final five seconds. But Sacramento could not get a good shot off.
Teammate Shannon Brown had 17 points off the bench.
Artest had 11 first-quarter points and was 4 of 5 from 3-point range in 23 minutes.
"He was hot," Jackson said. "So I left him in the ballgame. He is going to find his way out there, but he is still searching a little bit. But he did much better." Artest averaged 6.5 points in the two previous games.
"I feel settled, but I have still have to make sure my rhythm is going at times," Artest said. "I wasn't doing was I was exactly was I suppose to [in the triangle]. I think was going back to things I learned last year. But there is some new stuff I learned today that I didn't know last year."
Carl Landry led Sacramento with 23 points and eight rebounds in 39 minutes. Last season's Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans added 13 points and eight assists in 33 minutes for the Kings.
Evans came away banged up after drives to the basket.
"I twisted my right [ankle] in the first half and the left one in the second half," Evans said. "The left one hurts me more. It seems to happen to me all the time." Sacramento rookie DeMarcus Cousins, chosen fifth in June's draft, had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Meanwhile, Gasol also had 12 rebounds.
"Right now, I'm looking at Pau to play a little bit better than he is," Jackson said. "He is still on vacation. But he is coming on. His stats were better than I thought."
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 a Bryant free throw with 6:52 left in the third and eventually built a 74-59 lead to end the third. Sacramento was outscored 28-12 in the quarter.
"Coach [Paul Westphal] said we have to be prepared," Cousins said. "We're playing the world champs. They're a pretty good team. They were more active than us."
In their European trip, the Lakers lost Oct. 4 to Minnesota in London, and Oct. 7 to Regal FC Barcelona in Spain.
Meanwhile, the Kings were playing back-to-back nights after defeating Golden State at home 116-97.
Kings owner George Maloof Jr., who was arrested on a DUI charge on Saturday night in Las Vegas, was at the game during the first half. Maloof Jr., who also owns the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, was sitting courtside with his two brothers, Joe and Gavin.
George Maloof Jr. was also sitting next to sportscaster Jim Gray and former boxing champion Mike Tyson. Gray is scheduled to be a sideline reporter for about 20 Kings games this season.