NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 13th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (56-25) at Sacramento Kings (24-57), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Storylines abound as the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers close out their regular season in Sacramento tonight.
The Lakers are still trying to lock down the second seed in the Western Conference and may have to do it without oft-injured center Andrew Bynum. Meanwhile, this could be the last NBA game in California's capital as the Kings get ready to head south and move to the Lakers' backyard of Anaheim.
The Lakers snapped a season-long five-game slide, their longest since a seven- game drought from March of 2007, on Tuesday when Kobe Bryant scored 27 points, Lamar Odom added 23 and Pau Gasol totaled 17 points and 17 rebounds, as LA downed the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs, 102-93.
The Spurs were resting stars Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili, however.
The Lakers, on the other hand, are still jostling for position and had to play their regulars, proving costly as Bynum went down with a hyperextended right knee in the second quarter. Bynum is scheduled for an MRI on Wednesday to determine the extent of the injury.
"I feel fine. I expect to be ready [for the playoffs]," Bynum said after the game.
Coach Phil Jackson wasn't as optimistic and thinks Bynum could miss at least a few games.
"We've seen him go down a couple of times that have been debilitating, so there's a concern," Jackson said.
Los Angeles is currently tied with Dallas for second place in the West but holds the tiebreaker and can secure the spot with a win over Sacramento in Wednesday's regular season finale.
The Kings, meanwhile, are likely headed out of Sacramento after 26 seasons there. Anaheim's City Council has already issued the bonds needed to bring the franchise to Southern California and trademark rights have already been requested. Sacramento's owners, the Maloof brothers, have until next Monday to officially file for permission to relocate.
The Kings fell to 11-29 at the former ARCO Arena, which is now called Power Balance Pavilion, on Monday when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook scored 32 and 30 points, respectively, as the playoff-bound Oklahoma City Thunder held off Sacramento, 120-112.
DeMarcus Cousins finished with a career-high 30 points and nine rebounds for the Kings, who have lost three of four. Cousins went 18-of-21 from the foul line en route to setting a Sacramento-era rookie record.
"I was really surprised and never expected it but it worked out for me," Cousins said.
Marcus Thornton and Beno Udrih each had 21 points in defeat.
The Lakers have taken 11 of their last 13 versus Sacramento but the Kings snapped an eight-game skid to LA on Jan. 28 with a 100-95 win at Staples Center.
04/13 11:06:01 ET