Programming note: Kings-Lakers coverage starts tonight at 7:00 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California (territorial restrictions apply) and streaming live right here.
The Kings (11-10) travel to Los Angeles Tuesday for the second of a back-to-back after defeating the Jazz 101-92 at Sleep Train Arena to face the Lakers (5-16), who have lost three straight.
Sacramento is now 2-4 without DeMarcus Cousins, whose return from viral meningitis is unknown. Tuesday represents his seventh consecutive game out of the lineup.
Kobe Bryant is 63 points away from surpassing Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list, and don’t think he won’t try to get there versus the Kings.
Kings plus 3
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Ben McLemore vs. Kobe Bryant -- McLemore’s second-year defensive improvement has been lauded by Kings coach Michael Malone and will be put to the test at Staples Center.
1. Contain Kobe -- Bryant is averaging 25.2 points per game, tied with Anthony Davis and James Harden for tops in the NBA. The Kings must adopt a team defensive mentality to neutralize Bryant.
2. Trust on "O" -- The Kings need to demonstrate patience and poise versus the Lakers, who are last in the NBA allowing 110.9 points per game.
3. “Hit, find, go get it” -- Tom Izzo of Michigan State popularized the phrase and the Kings have inculcated it in their game as the league’s leader in rebound margin at plus-7.3 per game.
After being outrebounded in Saturday’s loss to the Magic, the Kings outrebounded the Jazz by 10, led by Reggie Evans’ 13 caroms in a surprise start in favor of Ryan Hollins.
Sacramento’s without the NBA’s top rebounder in Cousins, but must maintain control of the glass to get it done in LA.
Kings – C DeMarcus Cousins (viral meningitis) is out.
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) are out.
Tuesday’s matchup represents the first of four meetings between the Kings and Lakers. The Lakers took last year’s series 3-1 and the Kings have lost five straight in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
Los Angeles leads the overall series 267-145 including 89-36 in the Sacramento era.
Rudy Gay on missing Cousins: “I think especially with DeMarcus out, a lot of times I’ve been kind of settling and sitting back thinking I have him -- we’ve kind of been a tandem so far this year. But he’s not out there so now I have to be more aggressive on both ends earlier in the game and more often in the game.”