After a beautiful tribute to Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers will hope to move past the emotion and get a win when they take on the Sacramento Kings.
The Lakers lost to the Portland Trail Blazers on a night when the result really was secondary. That game was about paying respects to Bryant, who lost his life on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash, along with his daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others.
The Lakers put together a perfect tribute to the man who defined the last 25 years of Los Angeles basketball, complete with videos and performances from Usher, Ben Hong, Boyz II Men, and Charlie Puth and Wiz Khalifa. The night was absolutely filled with emotion but when the night ended, the Lakers came out with their second straight loss.
With that, the Lakers now have just a three-game lead atop the Western Conference with the Denver Nuggets closing in. A matchup against the Kings could be just what the purple and gold needs to get back on the winning track.
The Kings have been tied to the Lakers most the last couple weeks in terms of trade rumors. Reportedly, the Kings offered Nemanja Bjelica and an undisclosed draft pick in exchange for Kyle Kuzma. The Lakers declined and responded with the same trade but in exchange for Bogdan Bogdanovic.
Tonight should be an interesting chance for both teams to get a good look at one another before the 2019-20 NBA trade deadline comes on Feb. 6.
The Lakers will once again be fully healthy for this game. Alex Caruso was a game time decision but wound up playing and being stuck with the task of guarding Damian Lillard. There won’t be a matchup nearly as difficult in this one.
However, the Kings do present their own unique matchup problems with De’Aaron Fox. Fox put up 34 points, eight assists, and four steals in a 21-point win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Kings will be without Marvin Bagley and Richaun Holmes for this game, meaning the Lakers may have a chance to take advantage of them in the paint, even if they want to have a small ball lineup with Anthony Davis at the five.
The Lakers will without a doubt still be emotional. But after the tributes, hopefully the team can begin to look forward and put together some wins.
Los Angeles Lakers (36-11) vs. Sacramento Kings (18-30)
7:00 P.M. PT, Feb. 1, 2020
Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Danny Green
PF: Anthony Davis
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Kyle Kuzma, Dwight Howard, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso
Projected Kings Starting Lineup:
PG: De’Aaron Fox
SG: Bogdan Bogdanovic
SF: Harrison Barnes
PF: Nemanja Bjelica
C: Dewayne Dedmon
Key Reserves: Buddy Hield, Kent Bazemore, Cory Joseph