The Los Angeles Lakers have an NBA Finals rematch on Sunday with Boston, but don't want to look past the Sacramento Kings, who the Lakers host tonight at Staples Center. The Lakers, who blew out the Jazz Tuesday night, look for their third straight victory, and their 13th win in 16 games. The Lakers have beaten the Kings eight straight times, and have won six straight against Sacramento at Staples Center.
Kobe Bryant, who had 21 points and six assists against Utah, was named an All-Star starter for the 13th straight time on Thursday. Bryant led all NBA players in All-Star votes for the second time in his career (he also did so in 2003), and led the Western Conference in votes for the fourth straight season. The NBA All-Star Game will be held at Staples Center on Sunday, February 20 in Los Angeles.
Tyreke Evans, who was the NBA Rookie of the Year last season, leads the Kings this season in scoring (17.9 points per game), assists (5.5 per game), and steals (1.84 per game), but has had a horrible shooting season. Evans, after shooting 45.1% as a rookie, is hitting a woeful 40.2% of his shots this season. He is also shooting just 29.2% from three-point range, which believe it or not is an improvement over last season, and averages nearly three long distance shot attempts per game. By all means, Tyreke, keep shooting.
The Lakers have beaten the Kings twice this season, 112-100 in Sacramento on November 3, and a 113-80 blowout at Staples Center on December 3. Kobe led the Lakers in scoring in each game, including a triple-double in Sacramento. After a 3-1 start, the Kings are just 7-32, and are just 4-16 on the road this season. The Lakers are 18-5 at home this season.
For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.