Preview: Lakers at Sacramento Kings
After four days off, the Lakers (9-9) visit the Sacramento Kings (4-12) on Friday night.
The Lakers defeated the Kings on Nov. 24, a 100-86 victory at Staples Center.
Xavier Henry had a big night with 21 points off the bench. Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill notched double-doubles in the win.
Greivis Vasquez led the Kings with 20 points, followed by DeMarcus Cousins with 17.
Sacramento has struggled for wins so far this season, but the Kings won’t be an easy win for the Lakers on Friday.
Kobe Bryant didn’t make the trip to Sacramento. Steve Nash (back) and Jordan Farmar (hamstring) also aren’t available.
The Lakers did a good job stopping high-scoring Kings reserve Isaiah Thomas in November, holding him to just nine points on 4-11 shooting.
How will the Lakers fare with no true backup to Steve Blake?
Henry will step in, out of position, but can the Lakers’ second unit execute their offense while containing Thomas?
The Kings recently acquired forward Derrick Williams from the Minnesota Timberwolves for defensive-minded forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.
Williams is a capable scorer, giving Sacramento even more firepower.
The Lakers need another strong night from Gasol, especially against frontcourt players such as Williams, Cousins and Jason Thompson.
The Lakers have had all week to prepare for the Kings, their first game since Sunday’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Kings are better than their record but aren’t a playoff caliber team
Unless the Lakers play their best game shorthanded, Friday could be a long night on the road.
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