Las Vegas, Nevada: Marcus Thornton led the Sacramento Kings to beat the LA Lakers 103-98.
The Kings came out with some energy tonight, following a loss to the Golden State Warriors the night before. Thornton was knocking down shots and stole the ball from Metta World Peace. This was soon followed by Cousins stealing the ball from Robert Sacre, then following that with a dunk. James Johnson, unfortunately, quickly found himself in foul trouble, with 3 personal fouls. Half-way through the first quarter, Tyreke Evans was substituted in for Johnson. The Kings ended the quarter up by 7 points. Kings 27 points to the Lakers 20 points. A strong offensive quarter by the Kings.
The second quarter began with Tyreke Evans, Jimmer Fredette, Francisco Garcia, Jason Thompson, and Chuck Hayes. Smart ran with his bench for more than 8 minutes. This group struggled somewhat, giving the Lakers an opening to make their shots, to which Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol kindly obliged to take advantage, both players in double digits.
There were some high points for the Kings, however. Fredette made a 21-foot jumper with an assist from Hayes, while Garcia made a 3-point shot from the right corner, with an assist from Jason Thompson. Garcia later stole the ball from Gasol and made another 3-point shot from the right corner with an assist from Thomas. Cousins came on at the end of the quarter, driving to the hoop for a dunk, to put an exclamation point in the last seconds. Kings ended the half with a close 4-point game, 50 points to Lakers 46.
There was a lot of intense action from both teams in the third quarter. This was a very busy quarter for Isaiah Thomas. Not only was he hitting shots, he was busy dishing out assists, AND he stole the ball from Kobe Bryant! Not to be undone, Kobe was coming on strong, too. Like Kobe does, bringing his point total to 20.
With less than two minutes left in the third, Cousins had 4 personal fouls and the Lakers were within 5 points. Then, Thornton made a 3-point shot making him the leading Kings’ scorer at 19 points. Thomas, having 10 assists, drove to the hoop for a layup. Point-wise, this was quarter was a close battle, the Kings making 31 points to 29 by the Lakers.
Smart kept Marcus Thornton in the game. He did the same for Cousins, even with his four personal fouls. They were joined by James Johnson, Jason Thompson, and Jimmer Fredette. This quarter seemed to start out slower, possibly because Thorton and Cousins may have been tired from the previous quarter’s fast-paced action.
Fredette made a 23-footer from the the right corner, with an assist from Johnson. After Cousins picked up his 5th personal foul, Smart substituted Evans in for him. With 8 minutes remaining, Kings only held a 3-point lead. Fredette made a layup and a 3-point shot, with another assist by Johnson, bringing his point total to 14.
At the end, it was primarily one team’s bench versus the other team’s bench. The Kings hung on to win 103 to 98.