DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings drives against Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers during their preseason game at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on October 10, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sacramento won 104-86.
Led by Pau Gasol, the Los Angeles Lakers feature five guys averaging double figures in scoring entering Sunday evening’s game against the Sacramento Kings. Although the Lakers possess the highest scoring bench in the NBA, four of the five Lakers averaging 10 points or better are starters. In fact, the only starter averaging fewer than 10 points is Wesley Johnson at 7.4 points per game.
To be fair to Johnson, he is only averaging 23 minutes per game, so his lack of scoring is not entirely due to poor offensive execution.
After winning two in a row, the Lakers will look to continue their balanced scoring and impressive bench play against the Kings. Sitting at the bottom of the Pacific Division, the Kings still feature one of the most talented young players in the NBA: DeMarcus Cousins.
On Saturday night, Cousins pulled down 19 rebounds in a narrow loss to the Clippers at Staples Center. Two nights in a row, Cousins serves as the marquee villain hiding out in the visitors' locker room of Staples Center. To go along with his 19 rebounds, the 23-year-old also scored a game-high 23 points against the Clippers. On the season, he leads the Kings with 21.7 points per game.
Cousins is engaged on both ends of the floor, and he leads the visiting Kings in steals and blocks to go along with points and rebounds. Unfortunately, he also leads the Kings in turnovers per game. Still, Cousins is well capable of dominating a game on both ends of the floor.
However, Sunday offers the Lakers a perfect opportunity to extend their first winning streak of the season. The Kings are on the second night of a back-to-back, and the Lakers are well-rested and playing like a team ready to return to .500. With a three-game road trip looming, the Lakers would like to hit the road with some momentum.
Shootaround Notes: Kobe Bryant is not expected to take the floor on Sunday, and he did some work on his own at Sunday’s shootaround. Chris Kaman was unable to take part in morning shootaround, so he will not expect to take part in Sunday’s game. If Kaman sits, Sunday will be the second straight game Kaman has missed with a tweaked back.
Lakers and Kings tip-off at 6:30 pm PST.