Tonight the Sacramento Kings (5-16) hosted the Los Angeles Lakers (17-2).
A loss tonight would set a Kings’ franchise record for consecutive home losses (9). Kevin Martin missed the game with a recurring ankle injury. Fransisco Garcia started in his place.
The Kings came out with a lot of energy and led most of the first quarter. The Laker bench came in and closed the lead. At the end of one the Kings led 27-22.
The Kings held tough in the second quarter and led 56-51 at the half.
Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 14 at the half. Garcia led the Kings with 14 of his own.
In the third quarter the Kings showed some resiliency. The Lakers made a push, but the Kings held on. They led 87-80 going into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, Kobe failed to take over. He got his points, but on too many shots. The Lakers stayed within striking distance, but in the end the Kings held on for the 113-101 victory.
John Salmons was the key down the stretch for the Kings, playing defense on Kobe and attacking the rim on offense. Salmons and Garcia led the Kings with 21 points each. Beno Udrih added 12/6/5.
Kobe led the Lakers with 28 on just 9-25 shooting.
The Kings end an eight game home losing streak, as well as an eight game overall losing streak. The two teams will play again Friday night in Los Angeles.