The third time was not the charm for the Los Angeles Lakers, falling to 0-3 against the Sacramento Kings this season in a 112-93 drubbing. The Lakers showed flashes throughout the game, occasionally shrinking the deficit, but Sacramento always had an answer and was able to walk away from Staples Center as victors.
Kobe Bryant began the game 4-6 from the field, but missed his next 7 shots and finished with 15 points on 4-13 shooting. Bryant also continued a worrying trend of playing extended minutes even when games seem clearly out of hand, staying on the floor for 31 minutes, including over five minutes in the fourth quarter when the game was well out of reach.
D'Angelo Russell led the Lakers in usage rate, using up 28.6% of the Lakers possession while on the floor as he continues to assume more responsibility for the Lakers' offense. Russell struggled to remain efficient however, taking 15 shots to score 14 points. However, the rookie point guard did dish 5 assists and would have had more had the Kings not been able to clog the paint with abandon due to the Lakers' lack of outside threats.
Brandon Bass had a new season high in scoring, pouring in 18 point on 12 shots and showing good timing on defense against players not named DeMarcus Cousins while picking up 3 blocks. What Bass (and Roy Hibbert, and nearly everyone else in the NBA) struggled to do was defend Cousins, who had a monster 36 points and 16 rebound effort, a performance brought to you by countless wide open dunks. Cousins incredible night was mainly responsible for Bass being a team worst in plus-minus (-15) despite his offensive production.
Aiding Cousins was Rajon Rondo, whose passing (17 assists) was a major factor in the Kings outscoring the Lakers in the paint 58-42. The Lakers will look to break their four game losing streak when they host the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, the 10th anniversary of the time Kobe dropped 81 points on
Jalen Rose the Toronto Raptors. Someone get Kobe some pepperoni pizza and grape soda, because the Lakers will need a repeat to have a chance against the contenders from San Antonio.
All stats per NBA.com