On a night Kobe Bryant passed Hakeem Olajuwon on the all-time scoring list, it was the Sacramento Kings who paid homage to The Dream with a 100-95 win over the Los Angeles at Staples Center. Big men DeMarcus Cousins and Samuel Dalembert dominated, combining for 45 points, hitting several long, dare I say Hakeem-esque jumpers over the nonexistent Lakers defense. The Kings shot 51.2% on the night, compared to 41.2% for the Lakers.
Kobe Bryant needed 13 points to pass Olajuwon for eight place on the all-time NBA scoring list, and he got that and then some in the first quarter, scoring 21 points in the opening 12 minutes, after which the Lakers led 33-30. Kobe ended his night with 38 points and seven assists, but it wasn't enough for the Lakers, who lost for the sixth time at home this season. Bryant now has 26,972 points in his career, a mere 341 points behind Elvin Hayes for seventh on the all-time list.
The Kings exploded in the third quarter, turning a four-point halftime lead into an 81-61 lead with 4:21 remaining in the quarter. The Lakers turned up the defense after that, even cutting the lead to three points in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom combined to make just four of 18 shots, with Odom missing all seven of his field goal attempts. The Lakers were outrebounded, 42-36 on the night. Omri Casspi scored 20 points and had eight rebounds for Sacramento.
It appears both the Lakers and Celtics were looking ahead to their NBA Finals rematch Sunday, as Boston lost in a similar ugly fashion in Phoenix tonight, 88-71. The Lakers and Celtics tipoff at 12:30 p.m. PST Sunday on ABC.
For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.