LA Lakers vs. Sacramento Kings: Postgame Grades and Analysis for LA

If the Sacramento Kings end up moving at the end of the season, the Los Angeles Lakers gave their rival fanbase something to remember them by Saturday night.

The Lakers hit the road and won a crucial matchup, 103-98. It wasn't always pretty, but it's fitting that this rivalry went down to the game's final possession.

Early in this one, offense wasn’t a problem for the Lakers. Despite losing Steve Nash to the locker room in the first two minutes, they finished the first quarter having shot 11-of-20 from the floor, and they scored a respectable 25 points heading into the second.

The problem, as it’s been so many times this year, was defense, as the team allowed 37 points on 71 percent shooting.

The second quarter saw L.A. find similar offensive production, but the difference was an improved effort on defense. The team began defending better in transition, and more importantly, Sacramento stopped hitting shots under duress.

The second period also saw Bryant make history, as he passed Wilt Chamberlain for fourth on the all-time scoring list.

The second half proved to be a game of runs, but neither team could truly pull away. It would come down to late-game execution, and while that hasn't been L.A.'s forte this year, it managed to escape with the win.

Sacramento opted to let DeMarcus Cousins take the final two shots of the game. Both were from behind the arc, which is something the Lakers can live with any day of the week.

Begin Slideshow


About the Author