On Sunday in Sacramento, the Sacramento Kings beat the Los Angeles Lakers 108-101 is the state capital. Sunday's game between the two California teams was tough to watch from the opening tip.
It started with Kobe Bryant playing poorly--putting it politely. The "Black Mamba" started the game missing four of his first five shots and committing four of the Lakers' first five turnovers. Consequently, the Lakers feel behind by 10 points early.
Nick Young's introduction off the bench helped change the tide and cut the Kings' lead to three points at the end of the first period. Bryant also started to come around, and the combo of Young and Bryant combined for the 26 points by halftime.
A major positive contributor, the Lakers were shooting 70 percent from beyond the arc, and the long ball helped the visitors to an eight-point lead at the half. Young led the Lakers' bench in outscoring the Kings' bench 24 to six at the intermission.
In the third quarter, Bryant and the Lakers came out steaming hot. They would jump out to a 13-point lead halfway through the quarter. For the next eight minutes, though, the Lakers would fail to convert a single field goal. Miraculously, they only trailed by one point when Carlos Boozer hit a floating jump shot with 9:35 to play in the ball game.
Immediately, the Lakers responded to their cold streak by regaining a six-point lead behind Young's three-pointers. Young would finish with four three-pointers for contest, which was a game high. He would also finish with top scoring honors with 26 points.
After Young gave the Lakers a six-point lead on a four-point play, the Kings responded with a 16-2 run that snatched the game away from the purple and gold. With four minutes to play, the Lakers were down by six and wobbling on their feet.
Over the next two minutes, the Kings held steady and even increased their lead to nine points. The game never again became in doubt, and Sacramento's star DeMarcus Cousins had another special stat line by the final buzzer: 29 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks, two steals and two assists.
The Lakers fell to 8-19 on the season.
Notes: Bryant finished with 25 points and nine turnovers. Sadly, this was not his season high in turnovers. On Dec. 2nd in Detroit, Bryant recorded 10 turnovers. Against the Kings, Bryant continued his woeful shooting making only eight of 30 shots. Over the past five games, Bryant is shooting 29.2 percent from the field.