Riding a five-game losing streak, the Kings were hungry for a win, and with the Lakers visiting Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento demonstrated its resilience in a hard fought 108-101 win on Sunday evening.
DeMarcus Cousins paced the Kings (12-15) with 29 points and 14 rebounds while Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore contributed, 24 and 23 points, respectively.
Darren Collison also added 19 points in the winning effort.
Nick Young led the Lakers (8-19) with 26 points while Kobe Bryant added 25 points.
With the game tied at 89, Sacramento’s 10-2 run - propelled by five points from McLemore and four from Cousins - gave Sacramento a 99-91 lead with 4:02 to go, an advantage the Kings never relinquished.
One of the big keys for the Kings was making Bryant work for his points – 8-for-30 from the floor, and they forced the NBA’s third all-time leading scorer into nine turnovers.
Additionally, the Kings held the Lakers to just 41 second half points.
On the offensive side, Sacramento pushed the pace and scored 23 fast break points despite losing the rebounding battle 47-44 to the Lakers.
Sacramento led by as many as ten points at 22-12 on a Carl Landry dunk on a Gay assist with 3:35 to go in the first quarter.
The Lakers responded outscoring the Kings 11-4 the rest of the stanza closing the gap to 26-23 at the end of the quarter.
Sacramento was held to 33 percent shooting from the floor in the second quarter as the Lakers outscored the Kings 36-27 to head into the locker room with an 8-point cushion at 60-52.
The second half began with the Lakers extending their lead to 13, 79-66 on a Bryant driving layup with 6:11 to go in the third quarter.
The Kings countered going on a 15-1 run fueled by five points from Collison and capped by a McLemore dunk with 1:18 left in the third stanza and Sacramento led 81-80 at the end of the third quarter.
DeMarcus Cousins was prodigious, producing 29 points and 14 rebounds in 37 minutes.
The Kings held the Lakers to just 20 third quarter points, while a 15-1 Sacramento run after trailing by 13-points allowed them to secure an 81-80 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Kings – C DeMarcus Cousin (viral meningitis), F Reggie Evans (left knee and hip contusion) played. F Omri Casspi (knee contusion) and G Ramon Sessions (lower back strain) listed as probable did not play.
Lakers – G Xavier Henry (ruptured left Achilles tendon), F Ryan Kelly (torn right hamstring), G Steve Nash (sciatic pain) and F Julius Randle (tibia fracture, right leg) were out.
The Kings face the Warriors at Oracle Arena on Monday. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.