NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 26th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (23-5) at Sacramento Kings (13-15), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Lakers try to rebound from their Christmas Day loss to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers when they kick off a quick two-game road trip tonight against the Sacramento Kings at ARCO Arena.
Los Angeles had its five-game winning streak stopped with Friday's 102-87 setback to the Cavs, as Lakers star Kobe Bryant notched a game-high 35 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in defeat. Ron Artest added 13 points and Pau Gasol notched 11 points for the Lakers. This setback also put the brakes on LA's 11-game home winning streak.
"It's going to happen," said Bryant. "We attacked the rim, but just didn't get the benefit of the doubt today. It goes that way sometimes. They out-worked us. It's a good wake-up call for us."
With 4:04 remaining in the regulation, Derek Fisher was called for what appeared to be a routine reach-in foul and James took exception to it. James began jarring with Fisher, and there was minor subsequent pushing with several technical fouls called. Fans also became enraged and started to throw "foam hands", water bottles and other items onto the floor. Lakers forward Lamar Odom was ejected after receiving his second technical foul. The loss left the Lakers tied with Boston at 23-5 for best record in the NBA.
The Pacific Division-leading Lakers will also visit the Phoenix Suns and are 7-2 away from Hollywood this season.
Sacramento will continue a four-game homestand Saturday and had a two-game winning streak stopped with Wednesday's 117-104 overtime loss versus James and the Cavs in the opener of the residency.
The Kings, who rallied from a 35-point deficit to win in Chicago on Monday, received 28 points from Tyreke Evans versus the Cavs. Omri Casspi and Jason Thompson each netted 18 points, while Spencer Hawes chipped in 17 points and 12 boards.
"It was a good experience," Evans said. "I have known LeBron for a while now and growing up and watching him play. At the end of the game he was laughing at me and saying that this is where the superstar steps up. He did a good job finding open teammates and we didn't."
The Kings will also host the Nuggets and 76ers on the homestand and own a 10-4 mark at ARCO Arena this season. In injury news for Sacramento, forward Sean May is questionable for Saturday with a strained right hamstring.
Los Angeles has won two straight, five of six and 10 of the past 13 meetings the Kings. The winning team in this series has scored more than 100 points in 28 of the past 29 matchups.
12/26 10:25:20 ET