After not putting together a win streak of any sort at the beginning of the season, the Lakers hosted the Kings Sunday night with a chance to win their third consecutive game. As oft been the case for the Lakers this year, a team effort fueled their way to a victory, with four Lakers finishing in double figures as the purple and gold easily downed the Kings, 100-86. Both Jordan Hill (10 points, 13 rebounds) and Pau Gasol (20 points, 10 rebounds) finished with double-doubles on the night, while Steve Blake flirted with one of his own, falling one point short while dishing 12 dimes.
In a change of pace for LA, it was a strong defensive showing that paced the way, especially in the second half. In total, the Kings shot just 41.7% from the field, with no quarter worse than the third that saw them score just 13 points. The Lakers, on the other hand, won each quarter en route to their seventh win of the year, pulling them to .500 for the first time in eight games.
Xavier Henry led the way off the bench, pouring in 21 points on an efficient 7 of 11 shooting. Gasol was equally dominant, getting 20 points of his own on 8 for 16 shooting, while grabbing 10 boards. Not only did Gasol assert himself offensively, but helped frustrate the Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins into a lackluster 6 of 14 shooting night. The Lakers big had their way tonight, with Hill and Gasol finishing with 30 points and 23 rebounds.
For the fifth time in six games, Steve Blake dished out double-digit dimes, finishing with 12 on the night. Over that six game stretch, Blake is averaging 10.6 assists, proving himself as fantastic distributor for this relatively young Lakers squad. Jodie Meeks continued his impressive display to start the season, pouring in 14 points, one point more than his season average. In total, the Lakers bench added 40 points, just 1.5 points below their season average.
For most of the first half, the Lakers could put some cushion between them and the Kings, but not enough to put the Kings away. However, the key run that seemed to put the game away came late in the third. After Luc Richard Mbah a Moute laid it in to cut the lead to 63-61, the Lakers went on a 10-0 run to end the quarter, stretching it to a 16-3 run early in the fourth. From that point on, the Lakers cruised their way to the victory, sending themselves off with a win before an Eastern road trip this week. The purple and gold will be next in action Tuesday at Washington. Tip off is set 7 pm Eastern time, 4 PM Pacific.