Trailing by 18 heading into the fourth, the Sacramento Kings bench sparked a late game surge. But the Los Angeles Lakers squashed any chance of a comeback, defeating the Kings 115-107 at Staples Center Friday evening.
After an off-night against L.A.’s other team, Francisco Garcia led the charge with 18 points off the Kings’ bench. Rookie Jimmer Fredette played one of his best games as a pro, scoring all 12 of his points in the fourth quarter, including two daggers from deep.
For the Lakers, Kobe Bryant was well, Kobe Bryant. He led Los Angeles with 38 points in 36 minutes on only 24 shot attempts. Andrew Bynum proved again why he was named an All-Star this year. The Lakers center scored 19 points, pulled down 15 rebounds and blocked three shots.
The Kings get a day off before the first game of another back-to-back, which begins with the Phoenix Suns Sunday evening.
Notes and Analysis
- Three Kings bench players scored in double figures. In addition to Jimmer and Garcia, John Salmons chipped in 12 points on five-of-nine shooting from the floor. The Kings’ bench outscored the Lakers’ bench 51 to 22.
- Chuck Hayes served as the bench’s primary factiliator, tallying four assists in the loss. The Kings used Hayes in the high-post to find backdoor cutters in their motion offense.
- DeMarcus Cousins recorded his 23rd double-double of the season, but was limited in action due to foul trouble. The Kings center sat the rest of the second quarter after picking up his third foul midway through the period. He played only 22 minutes on the night.
- In addition to Cousins, Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton played under 30 minutes. Because of the bench’s stellar play in the fourth quarter, neither player saw action in the final period.
- Jason Thompson had an off night. The Kings big man played only 17 minutes and finished with three points and three rebounds. He went one-of-eight from the field and drew a technical foul midway through the third. Thompson appeared frustrated by the length and size of the Lakers’ frontline.
- Due to Thompson’s troubles and J.J. Hickson’s absence because of injury, Donté Greene received the lionshare of minutes at power forward. He ended up leading the Kings in minutes-played at 32. Greene had not played in the Kings’ previous three games.
- Bynum attempted just one shot outside the paint; his 12 other attempts came near the basket. Bynum made eight of them en route to a 61.5-percent night from the field.
- Bryant scored 20 of his 38 points in the first-half. He scored seven in the final period, including a clutch three-pointer in an 8-2 Lakers run after the Kings cut their deficit to five.
- The Lakers scored 52 points-in-the-paint tonight; 20 alone were scored in first quarter.
- Stat of the Night: The Kings shot 88.9 percent from the stripe, but attempted only nine free throws. The Lakers, meanwhile, made 21-of-26 free throws en route to an 80.8 percent night from the line. The Kings are now 2-12 when they attempt less free throws than their opponent.
Kings turn the ball over just 5 times tonight. Lowest turnover total since 2007 vs Houston #KIngsAllDay
— Kevin Sherrets (@KSherrets_Kings) March 3, 2012