Kings 94, Lakers 82 (final)The final quarter was of little consequence. The game was decided in the third quarter.
What stood out for the Lakers was the activity and energy of Jordan Hill.
Andrew Goudelock made his last attempt to impress the team, scoring nine points in the final 2:34. Goudelock and rookie Darius Johnson-Odom both have non-guaranteed contracts and might not make the final roster.
Rookie Robert Sacre seems a lock to be with the Lakers on opening night.
Devin Ebanks led the way for the Lakers with 14 points. Dwight Howard played just under 24 minutes, the pregame goal of Coach Mike Brown. Howard scored nine points, blocked two shots and pulled down eight boards. He also showed the rust isn’t all gone with five fouls and five turnovers.
Hill finished with nine points, nine boards and a surprising five assists to lead the Lakers.
The Kings got 20 apiece from DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas.
The Lakers finish the preseason at 0-8, an all-time low
The questions ahead surround Kobe Bryant’s foot (bruised) along with team chemistry both offensively and defensively.
The Lakers start the season on Oct. 30 at home against the Dallas Mavericks.
Kings 74, Lakers 57 (end of third quarter)The Lakers sat Steve Nash and Devin Ebanks for the second half, turning instead to Steve Blake and Jodie Meeks in the backcourt.
After a Blake three-pointer gave the Lakers a brief lead, turnovers, coupled with a hot stretch from Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas, would turn into 13 consecutive points for Sacramento and an 11-point lead.
It took a defensive three-second violation on the Kings for the Lakers to finally break the string. Of course, the Lakers would turn the ball over immediately, allowing for another Sacramento basket.
From there it was just a ragged back and forth as the Kings took a strong lead into the fourth quarter.
Kings 40, Lakers 39 (halftime)
The Lakers responded nicely in the second quarter after a rough start to the game, scoring the first 13 points of the quarter with five reserves on the floor.
While the offense still looked a bit uncomfortable, the halfcourt game started to work for the Lakers (especially once they stopped turning the ball over). The Kings weren’t able to run, allowing the Lakers to set up on the other end of the floor.
Jordan Hill’s energy made a big difference, although he appeared to tweak his back during that stretch.
Marcus Thornton hit a jumper over Hill to finally break the Lakers run.
The Lakers actually played better with their bench; turnovers returned with the starters, which fed Sacramento’s transition game.
Dwight Howard’s return to the court was marred by foul trouble, although Coach Mike Brown let him play through it despite four in the first half.
Nine Lakers scored, led by Howard with seven. The Kings got eight apiece from Jason Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins.
Kings 30, Lakers 18 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers, playing without Kobe Bryant, looked sloppy against the Kings.
Turnovers led to an easy lead for the road team, the Lakers committing seven in just 12 minutes.
Neither team shot especially well from the field but the younger, athletic Kings took it to a discombobulated Lakers squad.
James Johnson nailed a three-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer with the Lakers all but assuming the quarter was over after a Robert Sacre jump shot with 3.5 seconds left.
Nash and Dwight Howard both put in six points while the rest of the Lakers combined for the other six.
Johnson led all scorers with seven.
Dwight Howard will indeed start for the Lakers against the Kings tonight in the team’s final preseason game.
The Lakers will host the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night in the team’s final exhibition. Instead of the regular confines of Staples Center, the teams will travel to the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego.
Kobe Bryant will not play and the Lakers have yet to indicate if Dwight Howard will be available. Bryant’s nursing a sore foot and isn’t a definite yet for opening night. Howard was sore after his lone preseason game but the Lakers may have sat him Wednesday night against the Clippers simply to avoid the back-to-back.
The Lakers and Kings met last week in what was Howard’s debut but Sacramento came out on top with a 99-92 victory.
For a more in-depth look at what to expect, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Kings.