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Lakers vs. Kings preview: The vacant royal kingdom welcomes the purple and gold

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The Lakers visit Sacramento but the palace is looking empty this late in the season.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers hit the road to take on the Sacramento Kings, but it won't be anything like a battle between old-time rivals. Instead, it could quickly become an ugly game between two battered, beaten and shorthanded teams that just want this season to be over already. Please.

The hits haven't stopped for the Lakers, having to list both Jeremy Lin and barely-signed Dwight Buycks out for the remainder of the season. This has reportedly led to the signing of journeyman Vander Blue to soak in the extra backcourt minutes during the final two games of the year.

DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay have both been shut down for the season, which means there won't even be the prospect of watching the big man out of Kentucky dazzle his way to 20-plus points against the Lakers' frontcourt. Making matters more exhaustive, the Lakers will play the Kings again on Wednesday to end the season, which means we get this ugly match-up twice as our going away present. Twice is not nice in this case.

We've come this far, though, so let's finish the 82-game journey together. Enjoy the final road game of the season, and the nearing-conclusion of this new franchise-low.

Time: 7 p.m. PT

Station: TWCSN