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Los Angeles at Sacramento

Venue: Sleep Train Arena
  •  

Coach Mike D'Antoni may be somewhat wobbly on his surgically replaced knee, but the Los Angeles Lakers seem to be finding their stride.

Another meeting with the Sacramento Kings may keep their run going.

Coming off D'Antoni's winning debut on the bench, the Lakers look to continue their surge Wednesday night when they try to send the Kings to a sixth consecutive defeat.

Los Angeles (6-5) named D'Antoni coach on Nov. 12 after firing Mike Brown following a 1-4 start. D'Antoni's debut, though, had been delayed due to recovery from knee replacement surgery, but he was finally on the sideline for Tuesday's 95-90 win over Brooklyn.

"With this team, there's no reason not to win every game," D'Antoni said. "That's our goal. It's not, 'Let's get two out of three.' We can win every game we play. ... I feel like we're the best team in the league. We've got the most talent, so they can do what they want. We've just got to keep perfecting things."

While D'Antoni was not actively roaming the sidelines much in Tuesday's win, the Lakers have won five of six games since the coaching change, including a season-high three in a row.

"We're definitely playing with better flow," said forward Pau Gasol, who has 17 points in each of the last two games. "We're playing with more confidence, looser out there. We're playing together and moving the ball, just playing basketball and not really worrying about actions; just playing the game."

Production from Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard is also helping.

Bryant leads the NBA with 26.3 points per game, and Howard is among the leaders with 20.3 points and 11.7 rebounds. Both came up big in D'Antoni's debut, as Bryant scored 25 points - six coming in the final two minutes - while Howard contributed 23 with 15 boards.

The All-Star center is pulling down an average of 14.6 rebounds over the past five games, including 18 with 23 points in a 103-90 victory over Sacramento (2-8) on Nov. 11.

Bryant was held to 20 points in that meeting, but he's averaged 33.3 points in his last 13 games at Sleep Train Arena.

The Lakers, though, have lost the last two visits, including last season's finale on April 26 when Bryant was rested ahead of the playoffs.

The Kings are averaging 89.6 points during a five-game slide that continued with Sunday's 99-90 loss to the Nets. Coach Keith Smart tried to stop the skid by starting Aaron Brooks at the point and John Salmons at forward, but they combined for six points and seven rebounds.

"Overall, when you make some changes like we have it's hard, but they were smiling for the most part," Smart said. "This is an adjustment period. That's something we have to go through to get out team turned around."

DeMarcus Cousins is trying to do his part, leading Sacramento with 17.8 points per game and 10.3 boards. The center scored 23 of his season-high 29 points in the second half Sunday, bouncing back from a nine-point effort on 4 of 15 shooting in a loss to Atlanta on Thursday in his return from a two-game suspension.

The team-imposed ban forced him to miss the Nov. 11 loss to Los Angeles.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
L.A. Lakers -6 Sacramento 6
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
LA Lakers3rd Pacific 24.3332.52-4Lost 1
Sacramento4th Pacific 14.20031-4Lost 3

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Injuries
L.A. Lakers
PlayerInjury
R KellyHamstring
Sacramento
PlayerInjury
C LandryKnee
 
Key Players
Kobe<br>Bryant
Kobe
Bryant
, SG
36.5 Min. Per Game 32.1 Tyreke<br>Evans
Tyreke
Evans
, PG
26.3 Pts. Per Game 12.5
5.4 Ast. Per Game 3.1
5.5 Reb. Per Game 5.2
52.8 Field Goal % 41.0
39.1 Three Point % 20.0
88.2 Free Throw % 76.5
 
Team Rankings
TeamRankPoints
Los Angeles Lakers581.52
Sacramento Kings2859.36
 
Series Game Log
DateLocationResults
Dec 9 @ L.A. Lakers 
Dec 21Sacramento 
Apr 13Sacramento 
Apr 15 @ L.A. Lakers 
 
Other Games
Phi 83 Final
Cle 92
NO 107 Final
Ind 115
Det 74 Final
Orl 90
Tor 97 Final
Char 98
Wash 100 Final
Atl 101
SA 112 Final
Bos 100
Mil 106 Final
Mia 113
LAC 111 Final
OKC 117
Chi 89 Final
Hou 93
Den 101 Final
Min 94
NY 111 Final
Dal 114
Port 87 Final
Pho 114
Brook 93 Final
GS 102