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Kings vs. Lakers Preview: Win one for the Gipper

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With just 8 games left in the season, the Kings play their last team under .500, and it's a Lakers team that has somehow beaten Sacramento three times this season.

Stephen Dunn

The Kings' season is winding down as there are 8 games left, but tonight's game against the Lakers (7:00 pm on Comcast SportsNet California and KHTK 1140) is their last against a sub-.500 team.  A win for the Lakers would bring them into a tie with the Kings for last place in the Pacific Division and help increase the Kings lottery odds, but screw that.  We can't let the Lakers sweep us this year.  We've got to win at least one.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

The Kings vs. The Three Point Line

In Sacramento's three losses to the Lakers this season, Los Angeles has won in part thanks to incredible shooting from beyond the arc.  In the last matchup at the end of February, they hit 19 of 27 from beyond the arc, with Jordan Farmar alone going 8 for 10.  Mike D'Antoni led teams love shooting the three, and the Lakers are full of guys that can do so, unlike the Kings.  Sacramento will have to work hard to deny the Lakers one of their best offensive weapons.

3 THINGS

1. Ray McCallum has steadily been doing better and better as a starter the last 4 games, topping it off with 22 points and 10 assists in his most recent game against the Pelicans.  Los Angeles' Point Guard crop isn't all that special, and Jordan Farmar is likely out due to injury as well, which means McCallum will likely play a lot against Kendall Marshall.  This is of course unless Isaiah Thomas comes back, although at this point we can't be certain and I'd rather the team err on the side of caution in Thomas' case.

2. DeMarcus Cousins was unavailable last time these two teams met because of his suspension for hitting Patrick Beverly, and that was a big reason the Kings lost.  The Lakers don't exactly have a low post defensive presence, and Cousins should be able to dominate inside.  He's been playing some great basketball lately, and that shouldn't change against the Lakers.

3. Of all the years the Lakers have to be bad, it's a year in which the draft class is supposed to be amazing and in which they have tons of cap space available for next season in which they could also sign another star.  It's infuriating.

PRE-GAME HAIKU

Can't let Lakers sweep,
not here in Shaqramento
against Boogie Smooth.

PREDICTION

Kings 201, Lakers 99 as Shaq spends the entire game playing pranks on the Lakers bench and nobody stops him because Shaq.