THE FACTS: The Lakers had no mercy for the shorthanded Kings on Sunday night. Dwight Howard powered his way to 23 points and 18 rebounds and three other starters had 18 points or more in the 103-90 victory at Staples Center.
QUOTABLE: "When you have guys out like Sacramento did, those are tough games to play. Somehow, mentally, you let down, but I didn't find that to be the case. I thought the guys got busy"
--Lakers coach Bernie Bickerstaff
THE STAT: Sacramento was without starting center DeMarcus Cousins, who was handed a two-game suspension from the league earlier in the day for a confrontation that occurred with Spurs announcer Sean Elliott following a loss Friday night in Sacramento. Without their leading scorer and rebounder, the Lakers owned the glass against the league's weakest rebounding team, finishing with a 63-46 edge.
TURNING POINT: Jason Thompson, Cousins' replacement in the starting lineup, scored with 8:37 remaining in the third quarter to cut a nine-point halftime deficit to four. The Lakers reeled off the next 11 points, though, and the Kings pulled the parachute, never getting back within single digits.
HOT: Bickerstaff, who was named interim coach after Mike Brown was fired on Friday, is 2-0 in his new role. That didn't stop the fans at Staples Center from chanting 'We want Phil' for the second consecutive game. Phil Jackson is reportedly set to make a decision Monday as to whether he'll return for a third run as coach of the Lakers. As for those who played in the game, Kings guard Jimmer Fredette came off the bench to score 18 points in 11 minutes, going 7-for-9 from the field.
NOT: Kings guard Tyreke Evans continues to see his stock fall as an NBA player. After averaging 20.1 points and winning NBA Rookie of the Year honors in 2009-2010, he's seen his scoring average dip to 17.8 and then 16.5 last season. He came into this game averaging 11.8 points and shooting 36 percent from the field through the first six games. He managed nine points against the Lakers on 4-for-9 shooting.
GOOD MOVE: With the Kings missing their best interior player, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant made a conscious effort to get the ball inside to his post players. Howard and starting forward Pau Gasol each took 14 shots from the field and went to the free-throw line a combined 17 times. They also weren't shy about distributing the ball, combining for seven of L.A.'s 23 assists.
QUOTABLE II: "I thought our guys had to play out of position a lot against some very talented big guys, and I thought overall they did a good job."
--Kings coach Keith Smart
BAD MOVE: Sacramento backup forward Chuck Hayes had the hottest hand for the Kings during the second quarter. His jump hook gave Sacramento a 39-37 lead with 5:37 remaining in the first half, but he committed his third foul less than a minute later and went to the bench with the score tied 39-39. The Lakers outscored the Kings 18-9 the rest of the half and Sacramento never regained the lead. Hayes finished with six points, all in the second quarter.
NOTABLE: Lakers backup forward Devin Ebanks was inactive for the second straight game following his arrest Friday morning for driving under the influence. ... Lakers starting point guard Steve Blake suffered an abdominal strain in the first quarter and played sparingly the rest of the way, finishing with two points and four assists in 14 minutes. Blake's availability against the visiting Spurs on Tuesday is vital with Steve Nash out a few more weeks with a non-displaced fracture in his lower left leg. ... The Lakers had just five fastbreak points, compared to 19 for Sacramento.
UP NEXT: For the Lakers, Tuesday vs. Sacramento, Friday vs. Phoenix, Sunday vs. Houston. For the Kings, Tuesday vs. Portland, Friday vs. Atlanta, Sunday vs. Brooklyn.