NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, November 24th (All times Eastern)
Sacramento Kings (4-8) at Los Angeles Lakers (6-7), 9:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Lakers will celebrate the annual Chick Hearn Night at Staples Center Sunday, as the home team looks to make it a season-high three straight wins versus the Sacramento Kings.
Hearn is a Hall of Fame broadcaster and was the voice of the Lakers for a better part of four decades. The legendary voice of the Lakers passed away in 2002 and his legacy still lives on.
The Lakers are still playing without a legend, Kobe Bryant, and he is recovering from Achilles surgery. Bryant has returned to practice, but a timetable for his 2013-14 debut is uncertain.
Los Angeles made it two wins in a row with Friday's 102-95 victory over the Golden State Warriors, who played without guard Steph Curry (mild concussion). The Lakers took advantage and Pau Gasol went off for 24 points and 10 rebounds. Prior to the game, Gasol pledged $1,000 for every point he scored to support UNICEF in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan.
It was Gasol's third 20/10 game of the season and seventh double-double.
Nick Young scored 21 points and both Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake added 14 for the Lakers, who scored 22 points off 19 Golden State turnovers and shot 47.6 percent for the game. The Lakers led for most of the night, scored 33 points in the second quarter and held the Warriors to 17 in the third.
"I thought most of the game was pretty good," said Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni. "I thought the ball movement was pretty good. We had some guys that made some big shots, Nick Young especially."
The Lakers had a 44-17 advantage in bench points and lead the NBA with 46.7 ppg from their reserves. Young is averaging 17.1 ppg off the bench.
Los Angeles, which has won back-to-back games for the first time this season, is 2-1 on a four-game homestand and 5-3 as the host. After entertaining the Kings, the Lakers will head east for a three-game trek against Washington, Brooklyn and Detroit.
Meanwhile, the Kings will wrap up a three-game road trip and their tour through Hollywood. They are coming off Saturday's 103-102 loss to the Clippers in which Chris Paul sank 1-of-2 free throws down the stretch for the final margin.
Kings center DeMarcus Cousins had his shot defended by DeAndre Jordan in a desperation attempt and Sacramento had a two-game win streak stopped and lost for the third time in five tries. Cousins had his usual double-double of 23 points and 19 rebounds, and is one of three players averaging at least 21 points and 10 boards this season (Kevin Love, Blake Griffin).
Isaiah Thomas and Patrick Patterson finished with 22 and 21 points, respectively, for the Kings, who rallied from 20 points down and shot 42 percent for the game. The Kings made only 5-of-17 3-pointers and actually evened the score at 102-102 on Thomas' two foul shots with 24.2 seconds left.
"Proud of the effort we gave forth, it's disappointing we didn't pull it out, it shouldn't have come down to the last second," Kings head coach Michael Malone said.
Thomas is first in the NBA in scoring off the bench with 18.7 ppg and the minimum is five games played. He extended his Sacramento-era record for most consecutive games scoring in double-figures off the bench to start a season to 12 games.
Sacramento will return to California's capital city for a four-game homestand versus the Clippers, Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder and Lakers. The Kings lost three of four meetings with the Lakers last season and are just 5-16 in the previous 21 matchups between the Pacific foes.
Sacramento has lost three straight and 12 of 15 games at the Lakers.
11/24 10:29:01 ET