The Lakers returned to Staples Center on Friday night to take on the Sacramento Kings. The team came into the game losers of three straight and still without the services of injured guards Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. This was the third game between the Lakers and Kings, with the Lakers winning both previous match ups.
The Kings were without big man DeMarcus Cousins as he was suspended one game for throwing a punch at Houston’s Patrick Beverly. Cousins lead the Kings in scoring (22.3), rebounding (11.5), steals (1.6), and blocks (1.2). The Lakers looked toward their two-time champion center, Pau Gasol, to lead the team. The team was in their Hollywood Nights uniform once again.
Bazemore got the scoring started after he got his own offensive rebound and converted an athletic reverse layup. Both teams came out hot and shot over 50 percent from the field in the first five minutes. Pau Gasol was aggressive early as the team continued to play through him as he found himself at the free throw line three times in the first six minutes, going 3 for 5.
The Lakers struggled once again with turnovers and allowed offensive rebounds. Despite shooting 57 percent from the field in the first quarter, the Lakers found themselves down by four, 31-27.
Sacramento closed the 1st Q on a 6-0 run to take a 31-27 lead out of the period. Gasol had 10 points on 4 of 6 FG's.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) March 1, 2014
The Lakers came out flat in the second quarter as the Kings ran up their lead to double digits at the 10:22 mark. The Lakers couldn’t snap their cold shooting as they were on the negative side of a 17-3 run, which started in the first quarter, and found themselves down by 12 at the 8:44 mark. Gasol and Jordan Farmar were able to make four consecutive buckets to help the team crawl back within six.
A three from Bazemore and a subsequent dunk by Meeks tied the game at 48 with four minutes to play in the half. However, the lack of defense for the Lakers plagued the team at the end of the quarter. The Kings went on a 17-6 run to end the quarter and take a 65-54 lead into the half.
The Lakers trail 65-54 at the half despite 18 pts on 8-for-12 shooting from Pau Gasol.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 1, 2014
Jodie Meeks hit two free throws to start the third quarter after being fouled going strong to the basket. Meeks would continue his hot play and add ten more points to keep his shooting percentage at a perfect eight for eight and help bring the Lakers within four points with 7:47 to go in the third.
Despite the Lakers’ hot start to the quarter, the team continued to lack on the defensive end and found themselves down by double digits once again with 4:48 to go. Brooks and Farmar came off the bench and scored 21 straight points for the Lakers to bring them within four points at the end of the third, 99-95.
Lakers were 14/19 from the field in the third quarter. That's 73 percent. Cut lead to 99-95 heading to 4th.
— Bill Oram (@bill_oram) March 1, 2014
Farmar jumped the lane and stole a pass and was fouled on the subsequent layup attempt. He made one free throw to put the Lakers on the board first in the final quarter. MarShon Brooks hit the 16th three pointer for the Lakers to tie the game at 105 with nine minutes to go in the game. Farmar would hit two more threes, his seventh and eighth of the game, on the next two possessions to give the Lakers the lead.
Despite tying a franchise record with 19 threes, the Lakers were only up one on the Kings 115-114 with 4:35 to play. Brooks hit a dagger with 36 seconds to play to put the Lakers up by six. The Lakers were able to overcome their early defensive struggles and win the game 126-122.
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