Updated at 10:06 pm
On the heels of a suspension to their star center, the Sacramento Kings fell 103-90 to the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Sunday night. Already playing short-handed due to the suspension of rookie Thomas Robinson, the Kings lost without DeMarcus Cousins, who was suspended by the league for two games because of a confrontation with Spurs’ broadcaster Sean Elliott on Friday.
Notes and Analysis
- The Kings’ woes on offense continued this evening against the Lakers. Their troubles were especially exasperated from the perimeter, where they were unable to convert on 17-of-48 shots for a lowly 35 percent.
- If the Kings are ever going to find their offense, they’ll need two of their starters to begin converting from the perimeter. James Johnson shot just 2-of-8 from the field for four points, while Tyreke Evans scored nine points, but went 0-of-4 away from the rim. It’s pretty clear that these two are hesitating to shoot when open and over-dribbling because they’re lacking confidence in their jump shot.
- Marcus Thornton was not himself this evening. In roughly 22 minutes, Thornton made just one basket out of 10 shots and attempted no free throws. He scored just two points in the 13-point defeat.
- Though the Kings have struggled offensively, one player who hasn’t is Jimmer Fredette. In limited time, Fredette again scored efficiently, racking up 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting in just 11 minutes of action. Of his 18 points, half of them were scored from beyond the arc. With the Kings lacking consistent shooting from outside, Jimmer is earning his minutes and putting pressure on Keith Smart to find him more playing time.
- Jason Thompson stepped up his production in the absence of Cousins and Robinson. In 34 minutes, Thompson recorded his first double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds. He also shot the ball very well from the free-throw line, making seven of his nine attempts. But, he could’ve played more had he not lost his cool in the fourth quarter. He fouled out early in the final frame, committing three personals in a span of two minutes.
- Despite playing in just three of the Kings’ first six games, Travis Outlaw got the starting nod in place of Cousins. Outlaw used his length and played some solid defense early in the game against Pau Gasol. However, he was a little trigger-happy during his time on the court. He attempted nine shots and made five of them to finish with 11 points in 25 minutes.
- Stat of the Night: The Kings missed Robinson and Cousins most on the glass. The Lakers out-rebounded the Kings 50 to 39, with 18 of those boards belonging to Dwight Howard.
Three answers to three questions pondered
1. Can the Kings capitalize off their turnovers?
Once again, the Kings forced their opponent into a high number of turnovers. The Lakers coughed the ball up 17 times in this contest to the Kings’ 11. Sacramento did outscore the Lakers 19 to five in fastbreak points, but still shot a low percentage overall from the floor.
2. Do the Kings point guards finally post a respectable game assist-wise?
Isaiah Thomas and Aaron Brooks combined to record just three assists between them. And though Jimmer was lights out scoring the ball, the Kings guard totaled just one assist as well. So the answer to this question is a resounding no.
3. Will the coaching controversy surrounding the Lakers impact their performance?
The Lakers were fortunate that the Kings had controversy of their own due to Cousins’ suspension. Without Robinson and Cousins holding down the interior, the Lakers had a field day with the Kings in the paint. Of their 81 total shots, the Lakers made 20-of-38 baskets around the rim.
Statistical support provided by NBA.com