Sacramento was able to withstand an early Lakers run in the 4th quarter to hang on and pull off the huge upset at Staples Center.
Los Angeles started the quarter off with an 18-8 run, cutting the lead to as low as three. But the Kings fought through their mistakes, and in another sign of growth, hung on to win.
There were many moments that helped attribute to the victory, but perhaps the biggest reason was the play of the Kings big man rotation of DeMarcus Cousins, Samuel Dalembert, and Carl Landry.
Cousins had one of the best nights of his career. He finished with 27 points on 11-19 shots, along with 10 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 2 assists to go with only 1 turnover and 1 foul. He was also a game-high +19. He did a good job on defense too, on both Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.
Dalembert finished with a season high 18 points on 8-12 shooting, as well as 5 rebounds. Carl Landry chipped in with a double-double, with 12 points and 10 rebounds (7 offensive).
The Lakers bigs meanwhile didn’t really come alive till it was too late. The trio of Bynum, Gasol and Odom only scored a combined 25 points on 26 shots. Odom himself was 0-7 from the field.
The Lakers really couldn’t get anybody going on offense besides Kobe Bryant, who scored a game-high 38 points. But Bryant missed quite a few shots down the stretch that would have cut the lead. Shannon Brown was perhaps the only other player who helped offensively, scoring 17, including 3-5 from downtown.
Tyreke Evans didn’t score as much as he usually did, only 13 points on 5-13 shots, but he managed to make an impact in other ways, adding 5 rebounds and 5 assists with two steals. The three-pointer and free throws he hit during the fourth quarter were huge too.
Omri Casspi also had a huge game, scoring 20 points to go with 8 rebounds, as well as playing some good defense on Kobe Bryant late in the game. Casspi had a huge tip-in off an Evans miss late in the 4th to put the Kings up by 7, sealing the victory for Sacramento.
This is a great win for the Kings, and hopefully they can carry this momentum against the other good teams that they play on this trip.