The Los Angeles Lakers hit the road for a three-game trip that begins in Sacramento against the Kings in their fancy new arena. The Golden 1 Center will be the new stomping grounds when the Lakers head up the coast, gone from the days of the Arco Arena or even Sleep Train.
These teams met twice in the preseason, splitting their exhibition matchups as they tuned up their games before the win-loss column started counting. DeMarcus Cousins is putting up 25.8 points per game on a career-high .500 effective field goal percentage, continuing to carry the Kings’ scoring as he has since arriving. Timofey Mozgov will have his hands full covering him from the rim to the three-point line.
The status of Larry Nance, Jr. remains in the air as the team has officially listed him as questionable. He must pass a final examination before the game before he can return from a concussion he suffered during the Lakers’ win over the Phoenix Suns. Nance, Jr. was sorely missed during the loss to Dallas and can definitely make an impact in a game that could be decided in the frontcourt.
Rudy Gay will be the perimeter challenge of the night for Nick Young, Luol Deng and the shed of tools Luke Walton can reach into. Gay has been uncharacteristically on fire from three-point range, shooting 45.8 percent from deep on three attempts per game. He’s averaging a career-best 22.4 points per game.
The Lakers are still in the midst of a soft spot of their schedule, so let’s see how they bounce back from a loss while playing in front of the crowd that has no love for the purple and gold. Snagging a win tonight would be a ideal before hitting a back-to-back in New Orleans and Minnesota over the weekend. Enjoy the (nationally televised) game!
Time: 7:30 p.m. PT