The Lakers came away with a 103-98 victory over the Kings in a hard-fought game in Sacramento. Steve Nash only lasted only a minute and change when a hamstring injury knocked him out of the game. Kobe Bryant turned into a facilitator for the rest of the game, finishing with 14 assists. He also happened to score 19 points, more than enough to pass Wilt Chamberlain (!) for No. 4 all-time in scoring. I don't like seeing Kobe much, but that's one helluva career accomplishment. If that was the last time we saw Kobe live in Sacramento, salute. [Thus fills my annual quota for nice words about Kobe.]
The Kings jumped out to a 37-25 lead after one quarter, but the offense wasn't nearly as good the rest of the game. Tyreke Evans led the way with 21 points on 9-15 shooting. He played all but five minutes of the game, splitting time with Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Thornton.
DeMarcus Cousins had another double-double with 19 points (8-20 shooting) and 11 rebounds, but might have blown the Kings' last chance to win late. The Kings had drawn to within two at 100-98 with possession. Tyreke lost the ball on a drive and Kobe ended up drawing a foul, splitting the pair to make it 101-98 with 24 seconds left. After a full timeout, the Kings' play was ... Boogie taking a three-pointer. Dwight Howard hacked him, but the whistle didn't come and the shot was blocked. Cousins complained as the ball remained in play ... and then took another three. He did not make it. The Lakers got the rebound, Kobe sunk two free throws and that was the game. For good measure, after a 20-second timeout with 12 seconds left, Cousins fired up a third errant three. Because why not?
The Kings next host the Rockets on Wednesday ... the day KJ, Vivek, Mastrov and Burkle are spending in New York. Good times.
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