GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Sacramento Kings 16 19 17 28 80
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 21 31 30 31 113

Lakers blow out Kings, easily snap 4-game skid

By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES(AP) Kobe Bryant scored 22 points, Pau Gasol added 16 despite a strained left hamstring, and the Los Angeles Lakers easily snapped a four-game losing streak with a 113-80 victory over the struggling Sacramento Kings on Friday night.

Lamar Odom had 16 points and seven rebounds as the two-time defending champions capitalized on nearly optimal conditions for ending their longest skid since April 2007.

"We came out focused and we played aggressive from the first minute," Gasol said. "We kept our energy throughout the game, even in the fourth quarter."

Los Angeles jumped to an 18-point lead on lowly Sacramento in the first half and stretched it to 32 before Bryant and Gasol wrapped up their evenings late in the third quarter.

Jason Thompson scored 19 for the Kings, who have lost six straight and 12 of 13. Tyreke Evans added 15 points on 5-of-15 shooting, and Pooh Jeter scored 11 in 12 minutes of garbage time for Sacramento, which has lost eight straight to Los Angeles.

The Lakers reeked of veteran calm while dealing with their longest losing stretch since Gasol joined the team nearly three years ago - although a loss to lowly Sacramento would have been a valid reason to freak out.

The Lakers weren't blown out in any game during their skid after a 13-2 start, losing in the final minutes to Utah, Indiana, Memphis and Houston since Thanksgiving. While their fans grumbled a bit, Bryant claimed the only thing Los Angeles lacked was defense - something it hardly needed against Sacramento.

Gasol arrived at Staples Center about an hour before tip-off after getting treatment throughout the afternoon for his strained hamstring, which could be a product of his heavy workload last month in the absence of injured Lakers big men Andrew Bynum and Theo Ratliff. Gasol led the Lakers with 748 minutes played through Wednesday - 112 more than Bryant.

Gasol played a season-low 27 minutes against the Kings, and Bryant logged just 26. The Lakers also have the next three days off before Washington visits next week.

Every player scored for Los Angeles - even Ron Artest, who had just two points in 28 minutes. Steve Blake hit three 3-pointers while scoring 11 points, Shannon Brown had 12, and rookies Derrick Caracter and Devin Ebanks each hit their modest career highs.

Just how bad was Sacramento's defense? Midway through the third quarter, the Lakers had outscored the Kings 50-10 in the paint, meaning 25 of the Lakers' 30 field goals came from right next to the hoop.

Bryant and Gasol checked out for good with 2:55 left in the third quarter, and the Lakers' reserves kept outplaying Sacramento in the final minutes. Brown had a two-handed slam and a double-clutch layup on consecutive possessions, getting the crowd - including Bryant - out of the seats.

NOTES: Lakers F Luke Walton picked up three fouls in 2 minutes in the first half. ... Kings C Samuel Dalembert played despite tendinitis in his right knee. ... Evans left the court for several minutes in the first quarter, but returned to the game. ... Fans near courtside included "Mike & Molly" stars Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy, radio host Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo and Andy Garcia.

Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited

52 Bench points for the Lakers, many of which came in the fourth quarter as L.A.'s starters iced their knees. Shannon Brown led the way with 14, alongside four assists and three steals.

31 L.A.'s biggest lead, attained in the middle of the third quarter on Lamar Odom's and-1 layup.

27 Minutes played by Pau Gasol, who was questionable heading into the evening with a tight left hamstring. No matter. Gasol scored 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting with five assists, five rebounds and three blocks.

22 Points from Kobe Bryant in 26 minutes of action, coming on 8-of-19 shooting, alongside four assists and three boards with two steals.

19 Combined points for Lakers second round picks Derrick Caracter (10) and Devin Ebanks (nine) on an efficient 9-for-12 field goals. Each rookie hit their new career high in points.

View More Photos

Points Bryant 22, 9-18 FG
Rebounds Odom 7, 2 OFF 5 DEF
Assists Gasol 5
Steals Brown3
Blocks Gasol, Odom 3


Lakers coach Phil Jackson on what the Lakers did tonight that they didn't do in the past four games:
"Our defense was aggressive, in the first half particularly. We allowed four points in the paint. That says something about us defensively. There were a lot of shots we denied and balls tipped that we ran out with. So we got the defensive game going for us a little bit and everything else fell in place."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on how Pau Gasol looked tonight with his injured hamstring:
"He looked alright. I thought he moved okay. He played inside of the framework of what we were trying to do tonight, so it wasn't a really aggressive offensive game for him."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on holding the Kings to under 20 points in the first three quarters:
"There is almost no team in this league that can survive if they don't score. Scoring is such an important part, when teams don't get 20 points in a quarter, it kind of dents their effort. It takes the heart out of it. So it's a big part of playing basketball. One of the things we've been emphasizing since the post-Thanksgiving game in Utah is that when we've had leads, we've relaxed our defense to the point where teams gain momentum, and we haven't been able to slow them down when the momentum shift happens."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on if the Lakers high shooting percentage was due to better shot selection:
"[It was] penetration. We got a lot of stuff at the basket, a lot of stuff in the lane. I think we had 68 points in the paint or something like that tonight. That's an indicator of how much penetration was going on."

Lakers' guard Kobe Bryant on tonight's game:
"We played well. You know, we did a good job defensively, that built some encouragement. It was a good win for us."

Lakers' guard Kobe Bryant on breaking the four game losing streak:
"All I'm going to say is that we played the right way. It felt good to win this game, but it's more about doing the right things to be successful."

Lakers' Shannon Brown on tonight's game:
"We did what we're supposed to do from the first to the last minute. We executed on both ends of the court, you know we helped ourselves get back on track."

Lakers' Derrick Caracter on his expanded role with injuries to the other Laker big men:
He said play smart it's the last four minutes. Don't get your last foul. I know Pau needs his rest.

Lakers' Derrick Caracter on being a Laker:
"It's a dream come true. This is always something I wanted to do. It's my job now. You know everybody is here for a reason and I like to believe that I'm in the same position."

Lakers' Derrick Caracter on his 14 points and 4 rebounds:
"I try to get some rebounds and work hard. I'm out there as a professional basketball player and I can produce like any other guy out there. It's just about being confident and continuing to get your reps in."

Lakers' Pau Gasol on his hamstring:
"It was a little sore, a little tight, but I managed it well during the game. I didn't really push [my hamstring] too hard during the game. I was able to play through it."

Lakers' Pau Gasol on playing fewer minutes:
"It always helps no matter what. I'm glad we came out tonight with the right effort, the right focus, and with 27 assists that says a lot."

Lakers' Pau Gasol on the Lakers performance, win and energy:
"I think the energy overall was better. Just communicating from the first minute until the end. It was the right mindset tonight.


Paul Westphal in response to loss against Lakers tonight:

"Well it certainly wasn't a good time for us to catch the world champs at home. They were definitely focused and needing a win and they took it to us. I thought we hung fairly well in the first quarter, holding them 21 points and the biggest was we turned the ball over too many times, and as the turnovers continued and the poor shooting continued the avalanche started, and we couldn't do anything about it. It got of hand pretty quickly, early into the second quarter and there was no coming back for us tonight."

Paul Westphal in response to the defensive pressure the Lakers provided:
"They were providing pressure, I don't want to take anything away from them, they're a fantastic team, but I thought we had some turnovers that we should have not had. I thought we turned down some shots, we should've made some plays, could've even had the lead in that first quarter. I give them credit for taking the lead, but that was probably our best quarter…"

Paul Westphal in response to letting his team know the Lakers are the defending champions:
"It was a terrible time for us to catch them, and we didn't respond the way we needed to respond to keep the game close. Certainly, we weren't favored going into this game, but we didn't want to…it doesn't mean we weren't hoping that we could play better than that and give ourselves a chance to win. At half-time I asked the players, "Is there anybody here that honestly thinks they played up to their potential in the first half?" Certainly nobody could raise their hand. Every single one of our players was struggling in the first half, and when that happens against the Lakers, when they need a game as badly as they needed this one, the result can look like it looked tonight. It was a combination of them really tuning in and us not playing well at all. It was a pretty tough night for us."

Paul Westphal in response to his plans for tomorrow nights' game:
"We'll probably look at something different for tomorrow. I think we've gone quite a bit down this road the way we been going lately. I think we need to try something else. You can't just keep trying something for the sake of consistency and having it not work. You got to…it's enough of this line-up."

Kings guard Tyreke Evans on if he felt the game starting to "snowball" during the second quarter:
"Not really. I just went out there and just tried to play and be aggressive. I think if I be more aggressive, that's the only way we'll have chance. I was coming in thinking just to pass first, but now I'm going to look to be more aggressive and just try to take over the game."

Kings guard Tyreke Evans on the Lakers scoring so much in the post:
"Points in the paint is what killed us. I mean, they came in, they had easy buckets in the paint, they got to the lane, and they ran their Triangle Offense. We got to run it. We have to try to pressure the ball. They pressured us. We had to try to pressure back and knock them out of their offense."

Kings guard Tyreke Evans on the Lakers efforts tonight:
"They lost four straight. They were ready to come in and play in front of their home crowd, and we just weren't prepared for it."

Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins on his matchup against Pau Gasol:
"Gasol is probably one of the best big men in the league, and probably one of the best players some people would say. He's a tough matchup. They played a good game."

Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins on the Lakers defense:
"They were good. No credit taken away from the Lakers but we didn't play good today. We could play a lot better. I mean everybody in the room had a bad game."

Kings guard Pooh Jeter on their matchup tomorrow against Dallas:
"We've got to bounce back. There isn't any time to hang our heads and be down. We've got to pick our heads up and continue to believe in each other and in the system that we're in."

Kings guard Pooh Jeter on the Lakers defensive rotation:
"They're champions, they're back-to-back champions. With that core group that's been together for a few years, I mean, they're talking and they trust each other really. It's [about] helping and they do a good job with that."



The Los Angeles Lakers have lost four games in a row for the first time since April 2007, Pau Gasol has a strained hamstring andAndrew Bynum is still a few weeks away from returning from his latest knee injury.

That still isn't enough reason for Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson to panic.

A loss to the stumbling Sacramento Kings at Staples Center might do the trick, but the Lakers will be looking for an eighth consecutive win against their Pacific Division rivals Friday night as they look to snap out of their recent doldrums.

Los Angeles (13-6) seemed to take personal offense to the idea it might not be favored to win a third consecutive championship after the cast Miami assembled in the offseason.

The Lakers averaged 111.5 points in winning 13 of their first 15 games, but haven't cracked triple digits in their past five. Los Angeles let a seven-point lead slip away with seven minutes to play in a 109-99 defeat at Houston on Wednesday.

Bryant, who had a game-high 27 points, wanted nothing to do with the notion that his team isn't as good as it initially thought.

"How do you know how good we think we are? We're fine," Bryant said. "Are we going to win a three-peat today? Probably not, but the (expletive) is not played today."

His coach agrees.

"Concern? It's way too early in the season, and we've got a long ways to go," Jackson said. "We've got some guys struggling and need to get better."

Getting Gasol some rest might be a start. The All-Star big man averaged 22.8 points during the Lakers' first 14 games but just 13.8 while shooting just 40.0 percent in his last five contests. He also tweaked his left hamstring Tuesday in Memphis, and said it continued to bother him Wednesday.

Gasol is listed as day-to-day, but with Bynum and backup Theo Ratliff already out, the 7-footer claims he's preparing to go Friday - even though the Lakers don't play again until Tuesday.

If Gasol can't go, rookie Derrick Caracter will likely make his first NBA start after playing a total of 108 minutes.

Gasol has averaged 23.3 points and shot 63.7 percent during Los Angeles' seven-game winning streak against the Kings (4-12), who certainly wouldn't mind seeing him joining Bynum on the sidelines.

Sacramento has lost 11 of 12, a stretch that began with a 112-100 home loss to the Lakers on Nov. 3 as Bryant finished with 30 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. The Kings are averaging just 83.8 points during their latest skid, which hit five after a 107-98 home loss to Indiana on Tuesday.

"It's frustrating because of the losing and all of the negativity," guard Luther Head said. "Going into practice it's like there's a black cloud. It's tough but you just have to keep pushing."

The KIngs also have concerns in the frontcourt. Starting center Samuel Dalembert is questionable with right knee tendinitis, while rookie DeMarcus Cousins was kicked out of practice Monday for unspecified disciplinary actions.

Cousins seemed to at least respond against the Pacers, scoring a season-high 20 points.

If Dalembert can't go, Cousins - who had 11 points in 20 foul-plagued minutes in the loss to the Lakers last month - will start.

Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited

Lakers Andrew Bynum (right knee surgery) is out.
Lamar Odom
(sore right foot) is probable.
Theo Ratliff
(sore left knee) is out.
Pau Gasol
(strained left hamstring) is day-to-day.

Mavs Samuel Dalembert (right patellar tendinitis) is questionable.

11/03 - LAL @ SAC W 112-100
12/03 - SAC @ LAL
01/28 - SAC @ LAL
04/13 - LAL @ SAC

The Sacramento Kings are still trying to find an identity on the offensive end of the floor but are capable of scoring points in bunches if we don't stay solid defensively. Tyreke Evans and Beno Udrih are their primary ball handlers and we must build a wall defensively in order to stop their open floor penetration. We cannot allow them to get into the paint at will. Udrih has been playing well lately and has given us problems in the past. We need to contain the Sacramento role players like Casspi and Garcia. DeMarcus Cousins is a legitimate threat on the low post so we must be ready to vary our defensive approach in order to keep him guessing. Like most young post players he has struggled against double teams and has turned the ball over when dealing with that kind of defense. We must work to control the boards against the Kings as they are the number two team in the league in offensive rebounds and second chance points.

Read Full Scouting Report @ Lakers Courtside Connection


The Lakers currently lead the season series with Sacramento 1-0, after sweeping last season's series 4-0. The two franchises have met 274 times overall and 110 times since the Kings moved to Sacramento. The Lakers lead the all-time series with the Kings 188-86 (80- 30 vs. Sacramento). In their last 10 meetings, the Lakers are 9-1 against Sacramento. The Lakers are 15-7 all-time against the Kings at STAPLES Center and have gone 8-2 in their last 10 home contests. The Lakers are 7-3 in their last 10 games at ARCO Arena including an 8- 1 mark in their past nine trips to the state capitol. On 11/3/10, Kobe Bryant recorded his 17th career triple-double while passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the franchise leader for career minutes in a 112-100 Lakers victory at ARCO Arena. On 12/26/09, the Lakers defeated the Kings 112-103 in double-overtime at ARCO Arena, while using a Kobe Bryant three-point buzzer-beater to win their second meeting of the season 109-108 at STAPLES Center on 1/1/10. Two seasons ago, on April 6, 2008, the Lakers defeated the Kings by 22 points, their largest victory in Sacramento since a 23-point win 3/23/89. In 2006-07, the Lakers were whistled for 42 personal fouls in their 132-128 overtime victory January 4, 2007 at ARCO Arena, establishing a new Los Angeles era franchise record. The Lakers last committed 42 personal fouls back on 2/17/57 versus St. Louis when the team was still in Minneapolis. Additionally, the Lakers and Kings combined for 80 personal fouls and 102 free throws on the night, which was, at the time, the most fouls committed by two teams in more than seven years. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 28-13 against the Kings. In 51 career games against the Kings including 43 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 26.4 points. Pau Gasol has also averaged 20+ points for his career against the Kings, posting 21.5 points per game in 34 meetings (all starts). The Lakers and Kings haven't met in the postseason since the 2002 Western Conference Finals. While Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher both played in that series, no Kings remain on the current roster from that playoff series.

With consecutive losses at Utah, home vs. Indiana, at Memphis and at Houston, the Lakers are in the midst of their first 4-game losing streak since April of 2007 (4/8/07 – 4/13/07). It is just the SECOND time the team has lost three or more consecutive games since January of 2008, with the Lakers also dropping three straight 3/4/10 at Miami, 3/5/10 at Charlotte and 3/7/10 at Orlando. Since the Lakers acquired Pau Gasol on February 1, 2008, the Lakers have now lost two or more consecutive games 18 times (13 regular season, 5 playoff streaks), including their current four-game streak and the March 2010 three-game streak.

On four occasions, the Lakers played the third game trying to end the two-game streak without Gasol, snapping each of them with victories 3/18/08 at Dallas, 3/30/08 vs. Washington in overtime, 11/17/09 vs. Detroit and 1/10/10 vs. Milwaukee. Prior to their acquisition of Pau Gasol, the Lakers last three-game losing streak came just a week before the trade, with consecutive losses at San Antonio, at Dallas and vs. Cleveland from 1/23/08 through 1/27/08.

The Lakers current 4-game skid is the 11th such streak of Phil Jackson's 20-year coaching career (8th with the Lakers).

This season, the Lakers are 2-1 in the first game and 2-1 in the second game of back-to-backs. On the year, the Lakers will play 15 sets of back-to-back games as opposed to the 20 they faced a season ago. The only other time the Lakers have played 15 or fewer sets of back-to-back games came in the team's first ever NBA season (1948-49) when they also played 15 sets of back-to-backs. Chicago, Milwaukee and Atlanta lead the league with 23 back-to-backs each in 2010-11 while Oklahoma City (17), Phoenix (16) and the Lakers (15) will play the fewest sets this season.

With 41 points November 28th versus Indiana, Kobe Bryant scored 40+ points for the 105th time (regular season) in his NBA career. Bryant last topped the 40-point mark in the regular season back on February 1, 2010 at Memphis when he scored 44 points while passing Jerry West to become the Lakers all-time leading scorer. Last season, Bryant eclipsed the 40-point mark eight times, with the Lakers going 7-1 in those games. In the history of the NBA, only two players have more career 40-point games: Wilt Chamberlain (271) and Michael Jordan (173). The Lakers are now 72-33 all-time in games that Bryant scores 40+ points. Bryant holds the Lakers franchise record for 40- point games in a single season, recording 27 during the 2005-06 campaign. Bryant also holds the franchise record for most consecutive 40-point games (9), established during the 2002-03 season. Only Wilt Chamberlain (14 twice, 10 once) has had longer consecutive 40-point game streaks in league history than Bryant.

With his 29th point February 1, 2010 at Memphis, Kobe Bryant surpassed Jerry West as the Lakers all-time leading scorer. Additionally, having scored all his points with the Lakers, Bryant moved to sixth on the NBA's franchise career points list. On February 24, 2010 at Dallas, Bryant moved past Reggie Miller (25,279) for 5th on this list. To date, only four players in league history have scored more points for a single franchise than Bryant.

With 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists while shooting 10-for-10 from the field and 8-for-8 from the free throw line, Pau Gasol became just the third player in the NBA's shot clock era to record a perfect shooting night from the field and the line with at least 25 points, five rebounds and five assists. The only other players to accomplish this rare feat are Gary Payton in January of 1995 (32 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists (14-14 FG, 3-3 FT)) and Charles Barkley in March of 1989 (31 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists (10-10 FG, 9-9 FT)). Additionally, Gasol became the fifth Laker in franchise history to convert at least 10 field goals without a miss in a single game and the first to do so since Byron Scott went 10-for-10 2/26/86 at Dallas. Wilt Chamberlain converted a franchise record 14-of-14 field goals without a miss 3/11/69 vs. Detroit with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (11-11 FG twice) and Mitch Kupchak (11-11 FG) rounding out the list.

Entering the Lakers game vs. Sacramento, Derek Fisher has played in 432 consecutive regular season games dating back to April 15, 2005, second among all active NBA players behind Portland's Andre Miller 630 consecutive games (began season at 612). Additionally, Fisher has started 310 consecutive regular season games dating back to January 15, 2007, tops among all active players by more than 40 games (2nd - Andre Iguodala). Former Laker A.C. Green holds the NBA record for most consecutive games played with 1,192 dating from 11/19/86 – 4/18/01 while a member of the Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.

In the Lakers victory 11/17 at Detroit, Kobe Bryant scored 33 points despite sitting out the entire fourth quarter. The 33 points are the most Bryant has scored in a game in which he did not play in the fourth quarter or overtime since Feb. 23, 2007 against the Celtics. In that contest, Bryant scored 38 points before sitting out the entire fourth quarter. The most points Bryant has scored in a game in which he did not play the fourth quarter came on Dec. 20, 2005 when he posted 62 points in 33 minutes vs. Dallas (18-31 FG, 22-25 FT). Bryant established a franchise record for points in a quarter with 30 in the third of that contest, single-handedly outscoring the entire Mavericks team 62-61 through three quarters.

With 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists 11/19 at Minnesota on a perfect 7-of-7 from the field and 5-of-5 from the free throw line, Matt Barnes joined Charles Barkley as the only other player in NBA history to post a minimum 20-point, 5-rebound, 5-assist night while not missing a single shot, with a minimum of 5 field goal attempts AND 5 free throw attempts. Barkley posted 31 points, seven rebounds and six assists on a perfect 10-of-10 from the field and 9-of-9 from the free throw line in a 135-122 victory over the Spurs back on March 24, 1989 with the 76ers. Ironically, just one game later, Pau Gasol became the third player in NBA history to do so, posting 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists on 10-of-10 shooting from the field and 8-of-8 shooting from the foul line in the Lakers victory 11/21 vs. Golden State.

In the Lakers 112-95 victory 11/19 at Minnesota, Matt Barnes came off the bench to score 24 points on a perfect night from the field and free-throw line (7-7 FG, 5-5 3FG, 5-5 FT). Since the NBA instituted the three-point shot prior to the 1979-80 season, only two other bench players have been perfect from the free-throw line and from three- point range with at least five attempts in each category in the same game. New Jersey's Bostjan Nachbar shot 6-for-6 from three-point range and 5-for-5 from the free- throw line on 4/15/07 and Craig Ehlo shot 5-for-5 from three-point range and 7-for-7 from the charity stripe for Atlanta on 1/30/96.

With their 117-89 victory over Golden State on November 21st, the Lakers recorded their THIRD wire-to-wire win of the season as well as their second against the Warriors (10/31 vs. GS) this year. The Lakers other wire-to-wire victory came in a 124-105 win 11/2 vs. Memphis. Last year, the Lakers claimed NINE wire-to-wire victories (games in which they never trailed); seven during the regular season and two during the 2010 Playoffs (4/18 & 4/27 vs. Oklahoma City). During their previous championship run in 2008-09, the Lakers claimed 11 wire-to-wire victories; nine during the regular season and two during the 2009 Playoffs (4/29 vs. Utah & 5/17 vs. Houston). Last season, the Lakers also lost twice in wire-to-wire fashion (98-107 1/8/10 @ POR and 75-91 3/26/10 @ OKC).

In their 116-121 loss to Phoenix on November 14th, the Lakers and Suns combined for 31 three-point field goals on the night, one shy of the NBA record of 32 established by Phoenix (18) at Seattle (14) in double overtime on January 22, 2006. The combined total marks the 8th time in NBA history that two teams have combined for 31 three- point field goals and just the 6th that two teams did so in a non-overtime game. It is the 3rd time the Lakers have been involved in combining for 31 three-point field goals, also doing so 3/30/08 (Lakers (14), Washington (17) – overtime) and 12/17/06 (Lakers (19), Washington (12) – overtime). Additionally, the Suns total of 22 three-point field goals made was one shy of the NBA record of 23 established by the Orlando Magic 1/13/09 at Sacramento. In addition to breaking their own franchise record of 20 three- point field goals made, Phoenix eclipsed the Lakers opponent franchise record of 19 three-point field goals made, also established by the Suns in April of 2005.

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