If playing without Kobe Bryant was supposed to be a challenge then the Lakers never got the memo. Having already beaten the Indiana Pacers without the full services of Mr. Mamba there was no reason why the Lake Show couldn’t roll the Sacramento Kings. So roll their NorCarl rivals they did in an impressive 113-102 victory.
Without KB24 it’s going to take contributions from unexpected sources to keep this playoff momentum moving. Thankfully Mike D’Antoni has a collection of veteran players that are no stranger to being the first option.
Antawn Jamison had a flashback to yesteryear as he dropped a game-high 27 along with pulling down 9 boards. Metta World Peace also joined the rollback party but pouring in 22.
Steve Nash and Dwight Howard had dueling double-doubles with Nash scoring 19 and dishing out 12 dimes while D12 went for 12 and 17 boards.
The real story for the Lakers however is the continued impressive play of Steve Blake. In Indiana Blake played perhaps his best ball as a Laker and thankfully that carried over to tonight’s tussle in Staples. 16 points and 8 dimes off the bench is the kind of production that will go a long way in replacing what is lost as KB24 rests his ankle.
Now since these are the Lakers regardless of who is healthy and who isn’t, you knew things had to get interesting. After blowing the game open in the third the Lake Show allowed Isaiah Thomas and the Kings to come storming back in the fourth.
Thomas was too much for the Lakers to handle scoring 26 on some sharp shooting from the perimeter. Also doing work for Sactown was Patrick Patterson who was extremely active scoring 22 on a sick 9 of 12 shooting performance.
In the end the Lakers regrouped and reasserted their dominance pulling away late as they moved to four games over .500. Adding to the warm feelings in the locker room was the news of the Houston Rockets losing to the Golden State Warriors closing the gap to only a half game between the Lakers and the 7th seed.