Inactives for Tonight’s Game:
Kings: Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Brad Miller
Lakers: Andrew Bynum, Trevor Ariza, Coby Karl
11:00 The Lakers deliver on their first two possesions of the game, the first a nifty mid-range jumper off glass for Pau and the second, an uncontested dunk from Odom after a great pass by Kobe. The STAPLES Center crowd seems extra pumped up tonight, obviously aware that the Lakers have a chance to secure the number one seed in the Western Conference with a win tonight.
10:07 The hot start continues as Lamar Odom is the latest Laker to throw it down for an early 8-0 lead and his fourth point of the night. Gasol also has two points for the Lakers who have come out with a focused, business-like attitude in the opening minutes of the game.
8:51 Turiaf enters the game early tonight, replacing Lamar after he picked up his second personal.
7:23 The Lakers’ exceptional interior passing continues with Vladi the recipient of a great pass in the lane for yet another uncontested layup just one play after Gasol broke loose inside for a wide-open dunk. Pau has six points so far to lead the team, followed by Radmanovic’s four.
5:26 More stellar passing for the Lakers as Kobe grabs the ally-oop and throws it down for his fifth point of the night. The Lakers lead the Kings 22-16.
3:39 Sasha enters the game as Kobe exits to a nice ovation. The Lakers lead 26-21.
3:23 Farmar and Walton enter after the timeout.
3:05 The Lakers have six assists on the night, but it feels like at least double that after another tremendous pass finds Pau in prime position to execute his vaunted baby hook shot from about three feet out. Gasol’s has an excellent opening quarter, tallying 11 points and four rebounds against the helpless Sacramento front line.
9:42 Kobe re-enters the game as the Luke Walton sinks one of two free throws to push the Lakers lead to six at 38-32. The six point lead is identical to what is was when Kobe exited with 3:41 left in the first quarter.
8:32 Shelden Williams gets dinged for his second personal after flailing his elbows around five or six times in a very dangerous fashion. No one on the Sacramento bench likes it, but I’m surprised it took them that long to call it considering he had three Lakers within striking distance. As play is stopped the Kings bench snags a T for their continuing protest of the call.
6:45 The renaissance of Luke Walton’s season continues as he keeps doing the little things to pick the team up. This time it’s creating a turnover from Spencer Hawes on an inbound play that ends up as a three point play followed by knocking the ball off the Kings on the way up the court.
4:04 Another uncontested Gasol dunk gives the Lakers their biggest lead of the night at 54-41. Kobe is just 1 for 6 from the field, but has hit all 8 of his free throws and has led the charge on both of the Gasol freebies (he has four assists total).
2:19 56-43 Lakers as we hit the television timeout. Gasol leads the team so far with 15 points as he made all six of his shots and has grabbed four boards. As a team the Lakers are 50% from the field, but Kobe’s 2/7 and Luke’s 2/6 are the only real down notes. Oh and Mbenga’s 1/4 isn’t so hot, but mostly because the three misses came from a combined four feet away from the basket.
Yet another buzzer beating three from Jordan Farmar to end the quarter and give the Lakers a 62-48 lead after the first two frames. 14 is a nice cushion, but in all actuality it should be more considering the Kings only shot 42% and turned the ball over 15 times. The Lakes have only converted those 15 turnovers into 16 points while the Kings have used nine Lakers turnovers into 14 points. Three pointers have kept the visitors above water as they’ve converted five of seven.
10:23 Kobe starts out the second half strong, nailing a three pointer to up his total on the night to 16 and give the Lakers a 67-53 lead that is tied for their largest of the game. While Kobe hasn’t been overly aggressive on offense so far, he has been extremely effective and finding open teammates as evidenced by his five assists.
9:12 Gasol starts the second half the same way he began the first–nailing an outside jumper for his team-leading 21st point to go along with five rebounds. As a team, the Lakers look focused to begin the half–a good sign after faltering a little bit in the moments leading up to Farmar’s halftime buzzer beater.
5:50 Gasol muscles his way into the lane, racking up Shelden William’s fourth personal in the process. Heading into the timeout, the Lakers are up by a comfortable 15 point margin at 76-61. Both teams have remained somewhat status-quo for the past few minutes with neither the Kings nor the Lake Show gaining much ground on the other.
4:26 Fisher hits a nice mid-range jumper in the lane for his first field goal of the night. Prior to the make, Derek was shooting 0-5 in two-pointers and 0-2 from beyond the arc. Fish was a big part of the Lakers’ critical wins against New Orleans and San Antonio this past weekend, but the team hasn’t needed his scoring much tonight with Gasol and Kobe each scoring over 20 points already.
2:38 Turiaf and Farmar enter the lineup, replacing Pau and Fisher.
2:19: As been the case all game, the Lakers show off their outstanding passing ability, this resulting in a wide-open trey for Farmar in the corner. Jordan has six points on the night, both coming on three pointers. As a team, the Lakers’ bench has 23 points on the night.
50.3 Vujacic replaces Bryant to a raucous standing ovation and an extended MVP chant. With the Lakers up by 23, 93-70, it’s unlikely we’ll see #24 again tonight. Kobe exits with 20 points and five assists.
12:00 Chris Mihm is on the floor for the final quarter of the regular season.
8:30 Turiaf is the recipient of consecutive lobs and he hammers them down with ease to bump the Lakers’ lead to 27 points at 110-83. With the makes, Ronny becomes the fifth Laker to reach double figures tonight, joining Bryant, Gasol, Odom and Radmanovic.
6:02 Sasha bangs home a jumper from just inside the three point arc for his eighth point of the night. Vujacic is shooting 3-4 from the field and 2-2 from long range.
5:30 The entire Lakers bench erupts after Mihm jams home a dunk like the Chris of old to give the Lakers a commanding 116-88 lead with a little under half a quarter remaining in the regular season.
4:14 Mbenga and Newble check into the game for the Lakers with both teams going deep into the ends of their benches.
3:00 Mihm shows his improved lateral quickness once again, soaring high into the air to pull down the offensive rebound before being fouled. With two makes, the Lakers lead 118-93.
1:26 Mihm flashes his defensive skills too, blocking a Kings’ shot before Farmar drives coast-to-coast for a layup.
FINAL SCORE: Kings 101, Lakers 124