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10 Things to Know: Lakers vs. Kings (2/14/17)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers’ return to Los Angeles for a game against the Sacramento Kings.
1) The Lakers’ offense hit a new level in its last game, dropping 47 first-quarter points and 76 by halftime — both of which were the team’s most since 2014. However, Los Angeles had to hold on late when the shots stopped falling in the fourth against Milwaukee on Friday. Nonetheless, it still survived a career night from Giannis Antetokounmpo (41 points) to hang on for the 122-114 win.
2) Nick Young was crucial to the Lakers’ victory, racking up a team-best 26 points while shooting a blistering 8-of-11 from the field and 5-of-5 on free throws. “Swaggy P” showed that he is ready for Saturday’s All-Star Three-Point Contest, as he knocked down five triples for the 12th time this season.
3) Young took his long-range game to the next level by turning a couple of his trademark 3-pointers into four-point plays. He hit two treys while drawing contact against the Bucks, giving him six four-point plays on the year, which are just one behind the NBA’s leader, Kyle Lowry. Meanwhile, teammate Lou Williams has five of his own for third place.
4) Six years ago, Young had the hottest night of his NBA tenure against tonight’s opponent. On Jan. 11, 2011, he put on a show for Washington, dropping a career-high 43 points on the Kings. Young hit seven 3-pointers along the way and even scored 18 straight points for the Wizards in the third quarter to lead a 136-133 overtime victory.
5) Unfortunately for the Lakers, neither Young nor his teammates could find that kind of scoring in L.A.’s last game against the Kings on Dec. 12. In that contest, no Laker managed more than 17 points, while three-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins dominated for 31 points, 17 rebounds and five assists.
6) The Lakers’ victory over Antetokounmpo was a marquee one considering that he is on pace to become just the fifth player in NBA history to lead his team in all five major statistical categories. But Cousins is right there as well, leading the Kings in scoring (27.8), rebounds (10.8), assists (4.8) and blocks (1.3). The 6-foot-11, 270-pounder is also averaging 1.4 steals — leaving him just 0.1 behind Rudy Gay for the most on the team.
7) Fittingly, Cousins — who is sixth in the NBA in scoring and has 14 double-doubles in his last 15 games — will put his repertoire to the test at this year’s All-Star Skills Challenge. The Kings — who are currently two games out of the Western Conference’s final playoff spot — need all they can get out of him, especially considering that Gay (18.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg) is now out for the season with a torn left Achilles.
8) Even without Gay, Sacramento has looked sharp over the last week, winning three straight over Boston, Atlanta and New Orleans. Point guard Darren Collison has stepped up in this stretch, scoring at least 20 points in each game while averaging 22.7.
9) Collison has been money from deep this year, ranking seventh in the NBA in 3-point percentage (42.4). However, he has also shown quite capable inside of the arc, as he shoots the third-best field goal percentage among the league’s guards (48.1).
10) This game will be a homecoming for Collison, who is part of Sacramento’s trio of UCLA Bruins. Collison, born and raised in Rancho Cucamonga, and Compton native Arron Afflalo both enjoyed All-Pac-10 careers in Westwood years after former Laker Matt Barnes hit campus in 1998.
Lakers: D’Angelo Russell (sore left knee), Jordan Clarkson (right thumb sprain) and Lou Williams (mild right ankle sprain) are probable.
Kings: Rudy Gay (torn left Achilles), Omri Casspi (right plantaris tendon strain) and Garrett Temple (partial tear of the left hamstring) are out.
Tip-Off: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes in L.A. NBA TV nationally
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 KWKW