NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 1st (All times eastern)
Sacramento Kings (14-17) at Los Angeles Lakers (25-6), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Lakers will resume a four-game homestand Friday versus the Pacific Division-rival Sacramento Kings at Staples Center.
The Lakers are a dangerous at home as evidenced by their 17-3 record in Hollywood, and opened the residency with a 124-118 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday. Kobe Bryant had season highs of 44 points and 11 assists to lead Los Angeles, which is just 2-2 in its last four games overall since a five-game winning streak.
"The guy is amazing," Warriors head coach Don Nelson said of Bryant. "To be able to shoot like that with finger problems that he has on his shooting hand, it's amazing. Sixteen free throws for 16 and to take a game over like that, make jump shots, that guy is amazing."
Bryant made 16-of-16 free throws to help the Lakers rebound from a loss Monday at Phoenix. Pau Gasol added 27 points and 12 rebounds in the recent victory, while Lamar Odom ended with 11 points and 11 boards. LA will also host the Mavericks and Rockets on the homestand.
Lakers forward Ron Artest (concussion/lacerated left elbow) is questionable for Friday's game. Artest has missed the last three games.
Sacramento went 1-3 on a four-game homestand and will hit the road to Los Angeles tonight. It is 3-11 away from California's capital this season and suffered a 116-106 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.
Omri Casspi and Donte Greene each scored 21 points for the Kings. Jason Thompson added 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Sergio Rodriguez also scored 15 points in the loss.
"We had a chance early on to build a nice lead and dictate the way the game was going to be played," said Kings head coach Paul Westphal.
On the injury front for Sacramento, rookie guard Tyreke Evans (ankle) is listed as questionable against the Lakers. Evans has missed two straight games and is averaging 20.3 points per game this season.
The Lakers defeated the Kings, 112-103, in double overtime on December 26 this season, as Bryant poured in a game-high 38 points. The Lakers have won three straight and six of the last seven meetings with Sacramento, which has lost three straight at the Lakers.
01/01 10:38:23 ET