Lakers 106, Kings 99: Running Diary

59927105Lakers – Warriors Gameday Page
We took a look at the Lakers – Kings contest in Sacramento while it was happening, entering a thought or three each quarter as the Lakers looked to win their third straight road game.

Lakers: Luke Walton (back)
Kings: Jon Brockman

Lakers: Fisher, Bryant, Artest, Gasol and Bynum
Kings: Beno Udrih, Tyreke Evans, Donte Green, Carl Landry and Spencer Hawes

Pregame Notes
(Editor’s note: We were a bit light on pictures right after the game, as you can see by the photo above) For a full preview of the contest, CLICK HERE. Details include Sacramento’s adjustment after the Kevin Martin for Carl Landry trade, Tyreke Evans’ play and what L.A. specifically wants to do to counter certain Kings’ plays such as the high screen and roll with Spencer Hawes and Beno Udrih.

59927589First Quarter
8:15 Andrew Bynum was an absolute man among small children in the paint in the game’s first four minutes, during which he dunked three times and laid in a fourth time, the Kings flailing limbs his way to no avail. That helped the Lakers to an early 11-4 lead in front of a terrific, energized crowd.

6:16 The Bynum-inspired start was all well and good, like the past season of “Friday Night Lights.” But the next two minutes were more like “The Jerry Springer Show,” (guilty pleasure or not) as the Kings rattled off a 9-0 run, the first seven points scored by Spencer Hawes (who happened to set a career high with 30 points against L.A. on New Year’s night.

0:02.4 The final six minutes swung the pendulum back L.A.’s way, in a big way, thanks almost exclusively to Kobe Bryant. No. 24 reeled off 13 straight points himself, and the Lakers conceded only four at the other end to build a 28-17 lead after the first quarter. Feel free to align Kobe’s dominant stretch with the “Real World – Road Rules Challenge” series (OK, last random TV reference for a while, sorry). Bynum, meanwhile, finished the quarter with 11 points and six rebounds, already approaching his solid recent stretch that’s had him average nearly 20 points and 10 rebounds over his last three games.

59927080Second Quarter
9:46 No TV reference this time, but feel free to think of a really bad show as the Lakers’ bench conceded a 10-2 run to start the half. The Farmar-Brown-Morrison-Odom-Gasol fivesome played right into Sacramento’s hands by trying to run up and down, letting the Kings right back into the game.

6:06 After a Tyreke Evans layup, the scoreboard read “Kings 20, Lakers 6″ in the first six minutes of the second, continuing what has been a deplorable stretch of second quarters for L.A. of late, to the point that Phil Jackson has mentioned the hard-to-explain issue more than once. But thanks to the solid first quarter, the Lakers trailed by just one after a Kobe jumper.

0:51 The final half of the second saw the teams swap leads several times as good things continued to happen for L.A. when Bynum touched the ball inside, whether intentional or not. After Bryant’s driving attempt (his 18th shot of the half) rimmed out, Bynum broke through for an offensive board, then stuffed it back for yet another dunk. Moments later, Kobe spotted Bynum alone under the rim and lofted an alley-oop pass for, you guessed it, another dunk that had the 7-footer at 17 points with eight boards. It wasn’t like L.A. was calling much for ‘Drew, either, as much of his action came off five offensive boards.

59927811Third Quarter
8:57 Broken record alert: L.A. has success when consistently feeding Bynum and Gasol on the block. Pau nailed his sixth field goal in seven attempts moments after Bynum made his ninth in 12 attempts, drawing praise from the efficiency gods (combined 15-of-19, 79 percent). They were connecting with as much consistency as Michael Jackson songs on “Thriller.”

3:02 So, it wasn’t exactly Artest’s best game on offense, as he’d missed his first four shots before muscling his way to a left-handed layup to put L.A. up 69-62. Yet it was still funny when he kissed his bicep and looked towards Sacramento’s bench after the make. Ron Ron.

0:01.0 When Bryant went to the bench to begin the second quarter, the Kings went on a big run (10-2). With two minutes left in the third, he and Fisher went back to the pine, but the Lakers got four straight buckets from four different players (Gasol, Vujacic, Brown and Odom) including Odom’s pretty lefty layup with just a second to go, helping the Lakers take a 77-68 lead into the fourth.

59927604Fourth Quarter
10:27 Here’s what I typed on Twitter to describe a nasty finish to a great open to the fourth (you can always follow @LakersReporter for live game updates): Shannon Brown officially violated Sacramento air space. What an absurd one-handed thunder jam. Lakers up 16. Brown’s slam came from the right wing, courtesy of a slick Gasol pass from the middle of the floor. The Spaniard can lead the break. The hammer capped a 7-0 run to open the quarter.

5:17 Lakers opponents generally play with an Ivy-League-dreaming-high-school-kid-before-the-S.A.T.’s effort level, and the Kings were no exception, cutting the 16-point lead in half on a baseline layup for Evans, who was approaching a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Kobe was on TD watch as well with 27, nine rebounds and six dimes.

2:07 Bynum’s two free throws not only put the Lakers up 11, the game well in hand, gave him 21 points with his 12 rebounds, joining Gasol (26 and 11) with 20-10 double-doubles. Kobe was actually just one board away from joining them, which would mark the first time three Lakers players have done so in one game since 12/21/84, when guys named Magic, Kareem and Worthy did it. Unfortunately, Kobe would be stuck on nine boards … but on the bright side, the Lakers won the game, 106-99.

That marked three straight road wins for the Purple and Gold, who return home for a two-game stretch against Minnesota and Washington (Friday and Sunday). Until then, your numbers:

3 Lakers with at least 20 points and nine rebounds, as Kobe Bryant went for 30 and nine (plus seven assists), Pau Gasol posted 28 points and 12 rebounds and Andrew Bynum 21 points and 12 boards. Had Kobe nabbed one more rebound, the trio would have been the first to reach 20+ and 10+ double-doubles since Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy did so in 1984.

9 Lakers turnovers, much improved from the 24-turnover game in Golden State the night before.

10 Free throws missed by the Lakers, including an 8-for-14 struggle for Bryant at the stripe.

27 Points scored by Lakers not named Kobe, Pau or Andrew.

45 Combined points (25), rebounds (11) and assists (9) for Kings rookie Tyreke Evans, just an assist away from a triple-double a game after he missed the coveted TD by one rebound.

Follow Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) on Twitter.