NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, December 3rd (All times eastern)
Sacramento Kings (4-12) at Los Angeles Lakers (13-6), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Mired in a season-high four-game losing streak, the two- time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers will return to Staples Center for a short homestand starting with Friday's game versus the Sacramento Kings.
The Lakers have dropped four straight games, including three in a row on the road, and are coming off Wednesday's 109-99 loss in Houston. Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 27 points for Los Angeles, which has lost four straight for the first time since April 8-13, 2007.
Lamar Odom netted a season-high 25 points and grabbed 11 boards, while Pau Gasol finished with only eight points in defeat. Los Angeles hasn't dropped five in a row since losing seven consecutive games from March 2-15, 2007 and was buried by a 16-6 Rockets run late in the fourth quarter.
"We took bad shots and made bad plays," said Lakers head coach Phil Jackson. "Defensively, we put them on the foul line. We put ourselves in the penalty in a nonsensical way."
The current four-game slide is the 11th such streak of Jackson�s 20-year coaching career (eight with the Lakers). LA will also host Washington on the residency and is 8-2 at home this season. On the injury front for the Lakers, Gasol is questionable with a strained left hamstring.
Sacramento is also having trouble finding the win column lately and hopes to put the brakes on a five-game skid tonight. In Tuesday's 107-98 loss versus the Indiana Pacers at ARCO Arena, Danny Granger poured in a season-high 37 points to bury the Kings, who got 24 points from Beno Udrih.
Rookie DeMarcus Cousins had a career-high 20 points and eight rebounds, as Sacramento fell for the 11th time in 12 tries. Reigning Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans added 16 points in defeat.
"We came out sluggish and they hit some big shots," Cousins said. "That's basically what happened and they took the game over. Then we were playing chase."
The Kings are only 2-4 away from home this season and may not have newcomer Samuel Dalembert in the lineup tonight. He's questionable with a right knee ailment and had four points in less than 23 minutes against Indiana. Dalembert grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds before exiting the game with 5:06 left in the third quarter due to right patellar tendinitis.
Sacramento has only reached 100 points once in the last 12 games.
Los Angeles defeated the Kings, 112-100, on Nov. 3 this season in California's capital and has won seven straight and 15 of the past 18 meetings. Sacramento is winless in its last five contests at the Lakers.
12/03 10:44:52 ET