The Lakers defeated the Kings 117-105 in their last meeting five days ago behind another brilliant fourth quarter performance from Kobe Bryant. With the game tied with roughly four minutes remaining, #24 took over, leading the Lakers to their first victory over rival Sacramento this season. In that game, Pau Gasol scored his Lakers high of 31 points to help fuel L.A.’s comeback.
In the days leading up tonight’s affair, the Lakers defeated the Clippers by a resounding 37 points on Friday in a game in which seven players from the purple and gold scored in double figures, including all five starters. The Kings lost to the same Clippers team in double overtime one day after the Lakers defeated them at home despite the fact that leading scorer Kevin Martin did not play due to injury. However, Martin returned versus Minnesota on Friday night, scoring a career high 48 points, but his effort alone that was still not enough to down the lowly Timberwolves. It should be noted though, that the King’s second leading scorer Ron Artest did not play in either game due to a sore right foot. The forward is listed as questionable for tonight’s game.
The Lakers should be well rested heading into tonight’s rematch, with Gasol and Bryant sitting out the entire fourth quarter of the team’s manhandling of the Clippers. Losers of three in a row and seven of eight, Sacramento will be looking to exact revenge on the Lakers after giving away a late lead and being forced to endure several “MVP” chants directed toward Kobe from their home crowd.