LA Lakers vs. Sacramento Kings: Live Score, Results and Game Highlights
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Keys to the Game
3. Steve Nash's Injury & Steve Blake's Heroics
One of the most significant stories of the game was the loss of point guard Steve Nash. The 39-year-old floor general played just 1:48 during the Lakers' win, making his only shot and dishing out an assist.
In his absence, Steve Blake made it seem as if Nash were still active.
Blake was sensational, scoring 15 points on five three-point field goals. Not only was his shooting a key to L.A.'s comeback and eventual victory, but Blake pulled the Lakers out of multiple slumps.
While Nash will be needed for their postseason push, L.A. proved to have a quality insurance policy in Blake. Five three-pointers, unquestioned resiliency and valuable defensive pressure disputes any claims towards the contrary.
What a performance by the former Maryland Terrapin.
2. One Dismal Quarter and a Brilliant Response
During the opening quarter of this game, the Sacramento Kings were outstanding. They scored 37 points, made a mockery of L.A.'s defense and put the Lakers on their heels.
To counter the Kings, L.A. tallied just 25 first quarter points, thus creating a 12-point deficit.
This set the stage for the game, as the Lakers were forced to make an uncomfortable comeback. Although L.A. managed to close the gap and win, Sacramento's offensive firepower in the opening quarter set the tone in this one.
L.A. can't afford to fall behind like this against a more veteran team.
Fortunately, Dwight Howard was sensational on both ends of the floor, tallying 24 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks. D-12 made outstanding effort plays, crashed the offensive glass and even came up with a steal in transition.
Behind his efforts, L.A. played lockdown defense and outscored Sacramento by a margin of 78-61 during the final three quarters.
1. Ball Movement
As a team, the Lakers finished with 28 assists. A large part of that goes to the likes of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, who combined for 24 dimes on their own.
Kobe had 14 and Pau had 10.
This led to the Lakers having six different players in double-figures. That includes unsung heroes such as Steve Blake, Jodie Meeks and Antawn Jamison.
Even without Steve Nash, the Lakers moved the ball at an extraordinary rate—that led to victory.
Sacramento Kings box score via NBA.com.
Los Angeles Lakers box score via NBA.com.
The Sacramento Kings miss a last-ditch effort and the Los Angeles Lakers hold on for the win. Kobe Bryant grabs the final rebound and the Kings opt not to intentionally foul.
19 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds for Kobe.
Los Angeles Lakers 103, Sacramento Kings 98—End of the Game
DeMarcus Cousins went for the Paul Pierce up-and-under, but no foul was called. Cousins can't believe it, but the referees are saying that he initiated the contact.
The Lakers are on the free throw line with 12.4 remaining. Kobe Bryant makes both.
Los Angeles Lakers 103, Sacramento Kings 98—12.4 seconds remaining in the Fourth Quarter
Tyreke Evans goes the length of the floor and tries to draw the foul, but Jodie Meeks rips the ball out of his hands! With the crowd screaming "Defense, " the Kings are called for a questionable foul.
Kobe goes to the line and makes 1-of-2 and we have a three-point game.
Los Angeles Lakers 101, Sacramento Kings 98—23.8 seconds remaining
Tyreke Evans with the driving layup and the Sacramento Kings are within two points! The Kings proceed to foul Kobe Bryant, but he still makes the deep jumper.
Unfortunately, Bryant's shot came after the foul and didn't count—the Kings then forced a timeout on the ensuing play.
Los Angeles Lakers 100, Sacramento Kings 98—1:01 remaining in the Fourth Quarter
First quarter aside, this has been a magnificent performance by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Pau Gasol with the jump shot and that's the boost that the Los Angeles Lakers needed! Lakers are up four with just over two minutes remaining.
This one is getting very, very interesting—Pau is a major reason why.
Los Angeles Lakers 100, Sacramento Kings 96—2:09 remaining in the Fourth Quarter
Pau Gasol with the assist on the Dwight Howard finish. If you're wondering why we stil call Pau elite, look at his stat line.
Most specifically, acknowledge those 10 assists.
Los Angeles Lakers 96, Sacramento Kings 93—5:08 remaining in the Fourth Quarter
Marcus Thornton with the offensive rebound and the put-back. That was a huge basket for Sacramento, as they hadn't made a field goal in over three minutes.
DeMarcus Cousins and Jodie Meeks collide, but both display superb sportsmanship.
Steve Blake with his fifth three-point field goal on the other end. The Lakers have 10 as a team.
Thornton with yet another garbage play and DMC finishes.
Los Angeles Lakers 94, Sacramento Kings 91—5:55 remaining in the Fourth Quarter
Kobe Bryant with the drive, a paralyzing crossover and the pass out to Jodie Meeks. Meeks drains the three-point field goal.
Meeks has 14 points and Bryant is at 12 assists.
Los Angeles Lakers 91, Sacramento Kings 85—8:21 remaining in the Fourth Quarter
To sum up Dwight Howard's evening...
Tonight we've replaced post-back surgery Dwight Howard with the Magic version. Let's see if fans can tell the difference ...— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) March 31, 2013
20 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks only begin to tell the story.
Dwight Howard with the offensive rebound and then a no-look pass to Earl Clark for the two-hand jam! Superb effort play by D-12.
Howard has been sensational tonight.
Los Angeles Lakers 86, Sacramento Kings 81—9:16 remaining in the Fourth Quarter
During the first quarter, the Sacramento Kings outscored the Los Angeles Lakers by a margin of 37-25. During the past two quarters, however, the Lakers have dominated.
L.A. outscored Sacramento by a mark of 57-38 during the second and third quarters, collectively.
Los Angeles Lakers 82, Sacramento Kings 78—11:10 remaining in the Fourth Quarter
Dwight Howard with the steal along the perimeter! What a quarter for the three-time Defensive Player of the year!
In a moment of disarray, Howard manages to grab a rebound while Sacramento has the 3-on-1 advantage—WOW!
Los Angeles Lakers 81, Sacramento Kings 76—0:22 remaining in the Third Quarter
Kobe Bryant drops it off to Dwight Howard and D-12 throws out down with ferocity. That was a beautiful play.
One possession later, Howard grabbed two offensive boards to give L.A. a four-point lead. 11-1 Laker run.
Los Angeles Lakers 79, Sacramento Kings 75—1:32 remaining in the Third Quarter
Steve Blake is on fire, draining his fourth three-pointer of the game. Unfortunately, he's also called for the foul on the other end.
Lakers need to step it up on D.
Los Angeles Lakers 71, Sacramento Kings 75—4:13 remaining in the Third Quarter
Jason Thompson gets the offensive rebound, Earl Clark blocks him and Thompson finishes. Clark slams the ball into the ground, clearly frustrated.
Clark's effort has been superb, but L.A. has played non-existent defense.
Los Angeles Lakers 68, Sacramento Kings 74—4:46 remaining in the Third Quarter
Very poor inbound defense by the Los Angeles Lakers and DeMarcus Cousins gets an easy two points. Cousins then hits a deep two-point jump shot.
This young man can do it all.
Los Angeles Lakers 65, Sacramento Kings 70—6:09 remaining in the Third Quarter
Tyreke Evans with the jaw-dropping And-One and Kobe Bryant with the ferocious dunk. Both of those players should end up on SportsCenter.
Sacramento is fighting back and is, again, comfortably in the lead.
Los Angeles Lakers 63, Sacramento Kings 66—8:25 remaining in the Third Quarter
The Sacramento Kings pick up where they left off, as Jason Thompson picks up the basket. Jodie Meeks responds on the other end.
Pau Gasol follows with a three-pointer. He then hits Dwight Howard for two.
Lakers are now on a 7-0 run.
Los Angeles Lakers 60, Sacramento Kings 59—10:02 remaining in the Third Quarter
Kobe Bryant hits a pair of free throws to make it 54-53. The Sacramento Kings, somehow, get a full court pass off of a made free throw.
Kobe with an emergency foul. Sacramento still scores with an Isaiah Thomas three.
Thomas has seven points and four assists at the half.
Los Angeles Lakers 53, Sacramento Kings 57—Halftime
John Salmons grabs the offensive rebound—standing on the three-point line in the corner. That's where Metta World Peace is missed most.
Tyreke Evans follows up with two points to extend the lead.
Los Angeles Lakers 51, Sacramento Kings 54—0:54 remaining in the Second Quarter
The lead doesn't last long for the Lakers, as Chuck Hayes hits the one-handed eight-footer. Dwight Howard is then called for an offensive foul.
D-12 hits the bench and has a minor confrontation with Mike D'Antoni about not wanting to come out.
Los Angeles Lakers 51, Sacramento Kings 52—1:10 remaining in the Second Quarter
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