The Sacramento Kings had a tough time with a Lakers team who played without its superstar Kobe Bryant. Sacramento lost 102-113 in Los Angeles tonight, as they themselves played without their corner piece, starting center DeMarcus Cousins.
The Lakers scored almost as efficiently as they have in years. With Kobe on the bench, the rest of the team shot 56.9 percent from the field on 41 of 72 shots. The Kings took 14 more shots then the Lakers, but only shot 43.8 percent from the field on their way to a 42-96 shooting night.
Both John Salmons, and Jason Thompson had horrible shooting night combining for 3 of 15 or 20 percent shooting. Tyreke Evans didn’t help as he was unable to take advantage of Kobe Bryant’s absence, shooting 6 of 19 for only 13 points.
The Kings could’nt contain Antawn Jamison from beyond the three point line tonight, as he went 5 of 8 and shot an overall 8 of 14 for 27 points. The Kings showed they inability to guard hot perimeter shooters. Steve Nash was in vintage form tonight as he put on a passing clinic, and scored 19 points on a very efficient 7 of 12 shooting night. Metta World Peace scored a very efficient 22 points on 10 of 13 shooting from the field.
The Lakers looked like a team groomed and catered for Kobe Bryant tonight. As a team, the Lakers shot only 72 shots and shot nearly 57 percent. Kobe Bryant is averaging 20.4 shots per game. While he is averaging 27.1 points per game, Antawn Jamison and Metta World Peace are averaging a combined 21 points an combined for 48 points tonight.
The Kings had problems on both sides of floor, as they struggled to defend the perimeter on defense, and seemed to stop looking for each other in the fourth quarter when things got tight. The Kings have developed a bad habit of slowing the tempo of their offense and getting into more one on one basketball, rather than passing moving without the ball, and creating opportunities for teammates.
The Kings had a good run late in the third quarter, that lost all its momentum when Jason Thompson ran over Steve Blake on a fast break, and was called for a charging foul. The Lakers went on a 17-6 tun to maintain and build their lead. Thompson had two open teammates, but instead tried to make a play to the basket.
Both Patrick Patterson and Isaiah Thomas were bright sport for the kings scoring 22 and 26 points respectively. Isaiah Thomas added 6 assists.
The Kings had to play without DeMarcus Cousins as he continued to nurse his sore left knee after Mike Dunleavy’s cheap shot in the Kings loss to The Bucks. The NBA didn’t suspend Cousins, who has missed the last two games due to a sore right knee.
Dunleavy set a moving screan, practically cutting Cousins right knee from under him as both players where running towards the basket. Dunleavy clearly fouled Cousins in a move that several could call dirty, and as a result has kept Cousins sidelined for two games.
The Kings have to continue to find ways to play together, and take advantage of the increased amounts of attention they’ll receive as the season nears its finish. The Kings will become a major topic of discussion around the league when the NBA’s board of Governors meet in mid April.
The Kings will potentially be playing for the last times in Sacramento and will need all the support from their city as they can get.