The Sacramento Kings lost a close game last night to the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite 12 lead changes, the Lakers were able to pull away in the final 1:30. Jodie Meeks and Nick Young made big buckets in the final possessions while the Kings center DeMarcus Cousins made a costly turnover with 1:16 left in the fourth.
Steve Blake played well for the Lakers, who desperately need him to as they are currently lacking depth in the point guard position. All five Lakers starters scored in double-digits while only Ben McLemore and Cousins were able to breach double-digit scoring for the Kings.
One alarming statistic is that no Kings guard got to the line. McLemore, Greivis Vasquez and Isaiah Thomas must be more aggressive in attacking the rim. The Kings settled for jumpers too often, epitomized by Patrick Patterson’s shooting percentage (1-of-9 with zero free throw attempts).
The Lakers were playing without former All-Star Chris Kaman and their starting point guard, yet got the looks they wanted when it counted. Every active player on the Lakers roster scored. Unselfish play is the main reason the Lakers are surprising some people by lingering around .500 without superstar Kobe Bryant in the lineup.
For the first time in a while, I actually like watching the Lakers play because of how well they are sharing the ball and playing together. This may be because without Kobe the offense has more flow and the ball moves quickly since no player on the floor requires as many touches and shots as Bryant. It will be interesting to see how this Lakers’ offense produces with him on the floor.