Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Sunday evening home contest against Sacramento, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:
Lakers: Nash, Meeks, World Peace, Clark and Howard
Kings: I. Thomas, T. Evans, J. Salmons, P. Patterson, J. Thompson
12:00 Injuries were the story coming into the game, as we learned that Kobe Bryant would miss his first full game of the season with his severely sprained ankle after lasting only one quarter against Indiana on Friday. Pau Gasol remained out, having had some pain in his foot after a 2-on-2 session with teammates on Saturday, and for the Kings, center DeMarcus Cousins would miss a second straight game with a sore thigh.
4:40 With no Kobe, Jodie Meeks was at the two guard spot, and a two-handed dunk through traffic highlighted an 18-14 start for the home team, an early segment capped by a wing three from Antawn Jamison, huge with 17 points off the pine in the win at Indiana.
0:00 L.A. impressed on offense throughout the first period, hitting 13 of 22 shots (4 of 9 threes) for a hefty 59.1 percent, getting 11 bench points as Antawn Jamison scored eight (two triples) and Steve Blake had three assists, the two playing so well after keying L.A.’s best win of the season at Indiana on Friday. As such, the Lakers took a 33-27 lead out of the quarter.
4:41 Sacramento reeled off a quick 7-0 run to trim L.A.’s lead to one, but the Lakers responded on the other end, a World Peace bucket allowing a 49-41 lead amidst an already big Dwight Howard double-double. He had 12 points and 11 boards in just 14 minutes.
0:00 But right back came the Kings, using another 7-0 burst this time gave the road team a momentary lead, though Nash hit a jumper on the other end with four seconds left to tie the game at 56. The Canadian had seven points with his six assists, the latter stat matching Steve Blake as the team posted 16 dimes on 22 field goals, but the Kings had 16 helpers of their own on 23 field goals. They took six more shots, committing only two turnovers to the six from the Lakers.
4:13 With both Nash and Blake on the floor, the assists continued to mount, Nash notching his 11th and 12th and Blake his 7th during a 6-0 run that made it a 79-72 Lakers lead. This after two Isiah Thomas 2′s were changed to 3′s with official review during the previous time out. On 31 field goals, L.A. had 24 assists already, for a team averaging 22 on the season.
0:00 A terrific close to the period for the Lakers was capped by Blake’s third triple, which allowed an 86-76 lead thanks to a 30-20 quarter. MWP hit 4 of 5 field goals in the quarter (8 of 9 in the game) for nine points, while Blake and Jamison had eight apiece, with Nash tossing six of his game-high 12 assists (one short of his season high).
9:01 The lead grew to as many as 12, but Sacramento immediately responded with an 8-0 run to force D’Antoni’s time out, his lead at just four with plenty of time on the clock. His squad was scoring with ease, shooting 55.7 percent, but the Kings hit four of their first six shots of the fourth, including an and-1 and triple from Marcus Thornton (13 bench points) to cause some angst in the building.
6:23 But coming right back were the Steves, as Blake and Nash drained back-to-back triples, then watched Jamison hit his 5th to cap an 11-0 run that blew the game back open, L.A. up 101-88. Blake was up to 16 points with his seven assists and five boards, and Nash 17 points with his 12 assists, while Jamison had a game-high 26 points after hitting four straight free throws moments later.
3:43 Yet another fourth quarter J, this one from MWP, pushed the lead to 107-92, L.A. pretty safe into a time out despite ensuing Kings buckets on the next two possessions.
0:00 The final margin was 113-102, L.A. finishing an excellent team effort by shooting 56.9 percent from the field, paced by a 10 of 13 night from Metta World Peace (22 points), 7 of 12 from Nash (19 points with 12 assists), 8 of 14 from Jamison (game-high 27 points) and 6 of 11 from Blake (16 points plus eight assists). L.A. out-boarded SAC 43-33, and got 17 rebounds and five blocks from Howard, who continues to look more explosive by the game. Up next is the tail end of a back-to-back at Phoenix tomorrow night. We’ll see you there.