Kobe sits, Lakers drop 113 on Kings

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 18, 2013
Kobe Bryant never even emerged from the Los Angeles Lakers' locker room, slowed by his sprained ankle and leveled by an apparent case of the flu. The Lakers didn't seem to miss him much while they rolled to another win in what's turning into an awfully interesting second half of the season. Antawn Jamison scored 27 points, Metta World Peace added 22, and the Lakers beat the Sacramento Kings 113-102 Sunday night for their sixth victory in seven games. With Bryant missing his first game of the season to rest his sprained left ankle, the Lakers tightened their resolve and their rotation. Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni used just seven players, but Jamison and fellow reserve Steve Blake took charge in the second half as the Lakers (36-32) pulled away in the fourth quarter, keeping their one-game lead over Utah (34-32) for eighth place in the Western Conference and moving within a half-game of Houston (36-31) for seventh. ''We're just not making any excuses,'' Jamison said. ''We just looked ourselves in the mirror and said, `It's up to us to turn this thing around.' And I think we've been doing that since the All-Star break. We're finally playing the way we're capable of playing.'' Two days after beating Indiana for one of their most impressive road victories of the year, the Lakers persevered with nearly 57-percent shooting and balanced scoring in Bryant's absence. The fifth-leading scorer in NBA history was hurt in the waning seconds of Los Angeles' loss last Wednesday in Atlanta, and he played only the first quarter at Indiana. Bryant decided not to play shortly before tipoff, and the Lakers said Bryant also is doubtful for Monday's game at Phoenix. Nobody thinks the Lakers are a better team without Bryant, but their smooth offensive movement suggested they know what to do with the ball when Kobe isn't dominating it. ''That ball moves, and there are some good guys out there on the floor,'' D'Antoni said. ''That ball needs to move, and if it does, then we're really good.'' Steve Nash had 19 points and 12 assists, and Dwight Howard added 12 points and 17 rebounds in another superb all-around game as the Lakers pulled away in the fourth quarter of their seventh straight home win - and their first victory without Bryant and Pau Gasol in their lineup since Gasol joined the club on Feb. 1, 2008. Although Howard went scoreless in the second half, he continued his impressive stretch of play after the All-Star break, grabbing at least 12 rebounds for the 14th straight game while blocking five shots. The All-Star center even made his first four free throws - before missing six straight. ''It's tough for teams to play defense when the ball is moving like that,'' Howard said. ''I was just happy with our effort. We had to really talk to each other. They hit a lot of 3's, but it didn't take us away from our principles.'' Blake had 16 points and eight assists while playing 34 minutes off the bench for the Lakers, who moved four games above .500 for the first time in their tumultuous season. The Lakers lost a 10-point lead in the second quarter, but methodically moved ahead in the third. Los Angeles took its biggest lead of the game at 90-78 with 10 1/2 minutes to play, but Sacramento trimmed the margin with a 10-0 run before Blake's defense foiled a 4-on-1 Kings fast break and catalyzed an 11-0 Lakers run to seal it. ''That was a good play for him,'' said Sacramento's Tyreke Evans, who scored 13 points on 6-for-19 shooting. ''But 4-on-1, we've got to get a bucket off that. ... We didn't make shots and didn't get any fouls called. We stopped going to the basket and took a lot of jump shots, and they came down and made all their shots.'' Isaiah Thomas scored 26 points and Patrick Patterson had 22 for the Kings, who have lost 12 of 13 on the road. The Kings played without DeMarcus Cousins, who has a bruised left quadriceps. The Kings have been one of the NBA's highest-scoring teams since the All-Star break, and they routed Chicago in their last game. Sacramento couldn't duplicate that scoring performance against the Lakers despite committing just three turnovers in the first three quarters. ''Some of their guys played great basketball, like they've done over their careers,'' Kings coach Keith Smart said. ''Jamison is not a slouch. He comes in and plays a great role for them, and he made his jump shots. Steve Blake made some big-time 3s. Steve Nash is going to do his job. Dwight Howard is going show his post presence and do his job.'' Along with Bryant's woes, Gasol hasn't played for the Lakers since Feb. 5, missing 19 straight games with an injured right foot. The 7-foot Spaniard still hopes to return next week despite feeling discomfort during 2-on-2 drills Saturday. NOTES: Howard has matched the longest stretch of his career with at least 12 rebounds in every game, equaling a 14-game stretch with Orlando in 2011. It's also the longest such stretch by a player in the NBA this season. ... Cousins didn't make the trip to Los Angeles with the Kings, missing his second straight game. Jason Thompson struggled as Sacramento's starting center, scoring four points on 2-for-8 shooting in 25 minutes. ... Jack Nicholson wore neon-green sneakers at his courtside seat.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
One Gotta Go: NFL Legends (and Jose Canseco!) Have No Love For Captain America
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Raiders file trademark applications for ‘Las Vegas Raiders’

U.S. Soccer hands Solo six month suspension for Olympic comments

Report: Josh Gordon will be restricted free agent after 2016

Chargers release statement on Joey Bosa situation

Yoenis Cespedes says he will not opt out of Mets contract

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Zach Johnson unloads on Olympic golf

Drew Brees says players do not trust league office, Goodell

Lawsuit over Hall of Fame Game refiled after McAfee comments

Report: Griffin plans to re-sign with Clippers, won't be traded

Report: Wentz unlikely to see any playing time this season

Minnesota Wild names Prince’s ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ official goal song

Can Perriman's return help Ravens find oft-elusive WR success?

Five MLB players with a lot to lose down the stretch

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Bruce Arians on sideline video use: 'It helps bad coaches'

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron's 'Cleveland Hustles'

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

Junk Diver: Yasiel Puig

Fan freaks out Yankees by falling into the dugout

Revisiting the 10 biggest mistakes of the NFL offseason

One Gotta Go: NFL legends (and Jose Canseco!) have no love for Captain America

Four WNBA teams to pay attention to post-Olympic break

Madden 17 shows how vital a fresh coat of paint can be

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Can Perriman's return help Ravens find oft-elusive WR success?

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron James' 'Cleveland Hustles'

Ranking the uniforms of the NFL from worst to best

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

The 24 quintessential moments of Kobe Bryant's career

One Gotta Go: NFL legends (and Jose Canseco!) have no love for Captain America

Four WNBA teams to pay attention to post-Olympic break

Madden 17 shows how vital a fresh coat of paint can be

Why people just can't get behind the Washington Nationals

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker