Kings-Lakers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 10, 2012
While rumors continue to swirl about the possible return of Phil Jackson to the bench, the Los Angeles Lakers are keeping their focus on trying to move past their slow start. The Lakers will attempt to move one step closer to the .500 mark when they welcome the Sacramento Kings to Staples Center on Sunday night. With the additions of superstars Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, expectations were sky high for Los Angeles to contend for another NBA title, but a 1-4 start cost coach Mike Brown his job. The Lakers made the move only several hours before facing Golden State on Friday but produced an inspired 101-77 rout with interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff guiding the team. "It was sad to see Mike go, but we just got to keep moving forward. We have to stay together," Howard said. "It's early in the season, and we're still trying to learn each other's game. "Expectations are very high for this team. Management did what it had to do. It's on us to try to get better every day and continue to play hard and string some wins together." Bickerstaff's tenure could be short as Jackson, who won five of his 11 NBA titles with the Lakers, spoke with the team about returning for a third stint Saturday. He claimed two of those championships in 2009 and 2010 before stepping down the next season. ''Knowing him the way I do, I think it's really just a matter of health, if he feels physically up to doing it,'' Kobe Bryant said Friday night. ''He's a perfectionist. We all know he's a perfectionist. If he feels like he can come in here and give what he demands from himself, then I think he would be interested.'' Bickerstaff, though, is expected to lead the Lakers (2-4) as they seek their first win streak of the season in Sunday's game against the Kings (2-4), who opened the season with three consecutive road losses. Sacramento bounced back with two victories to open a homestand but couldn't finish that off with another win Friday as it shot a season-low 35.2 percent in a 97-86 loss to San Antonio. "I think we have to focus more on just seeing the ball go through the net and stop rushing things," said guard Marcus Thornton, who tied Jason Thompson for the scoring lead with 17 points. "I know I'm rushing a lot of shots. We have to hold ourselves accountable on the offensive end and make it happen." The Kings have made enough happen to win three of the past five matchups with the Lakers after losing eight in a row and they've scored 100 or more points in all five of those games. Thornton has appeared in three of those games and averaged 25.0 points on 56.0 percent shooting while DeMarcus Cousins has double-doubles in four of his last five games against Los Angeles. Bryant has scored 38 points in each of his last two home games against Sacramento and has averaged 33.3 in his past nine overall matchups. The Lakers have won seven of the past eight meetings at Staples Center, taking last season's only matchup there 115-107 on March 2. They'll have to try to earn another win without Nash, who is expected to miss another week due to a small fracture in his leg. The Kings, meanwhile, won't have top draft pick Thomas Robinson available as he completes a two-game suspension for elbowing Detroit's Jonas Jerebko during a 105-103 victory Wednesday.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cavs discussed three-team deal that would net them Melo

Celtics reportedly discussing Kevin Love trade

New York Giants to pursue Matt Forte?

Joe Mauer to try wearing sunglasses to improve pitch tracking

Charles Woodson joining ESPN's 'Sunday NFL Countdown' team

A’s land Khris Davis from Brewers for prospects

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Family of deceased Kyle Field construction worker awarded $53 million by jury

Chris Bosh to miss All-Star Game with calf injury, Al Horford to replace

NBA commissioner Adam Silver supports bringing sports betting in to the light

Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia becomes first player ever banned by MLB for PEDs

Eight bold predictions for NBA All-Star Weekend

Iowa athletics department under federal civil rights investigation

Why the Virginia Cavaliers are a National Championship contender

Cardiff City owner tells team to shoot more, because ugly men can marry beautiful women

Report: American Pharoah will make $35 million as stud in 2016

City hosts Tottenham in Valentine’s Day clash

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Is there a place for Aaron Hill with the Brewers?

The market for forwards may shape the NHL trade deadline

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

The most intriguing NBA story lines for the rest of the season

Report: Timberwolves ‘lament’ Andrew Wiggins missing weight-lifting sessions

Kevin Durant to the Warriors makes little sense

City of Atlanta, Braves fighting over iconic Hank Aaron statue

NBA 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

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

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