Road to the Repeat: Royal Rendezvous in Staples

It’s been a tough month for the Lakers (56-24).

With 2/5 of their starters out until playoffs this upcoming weekend, the defending champs are looking for some area of consistency.

Hopefully they can find a silver-lining in a win against the Sacramento Kings (25-56), even though Sacramento has long been eliminated from playoff contention.

The Lakers suffered a tough loss this past Sunday against the Trailblazers, 91-88, a bizzare game that featured two missed free throws by Kobe Bryant and one by Derek Fisher late in the game.

But with Kobe nursing a sore knee to go along with his other injuries, he’ll be siting out the final two regular season games.

Sacramento started 14-16, but lost 23 of the following 27 to miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season.

But there is hope, as their top draft, rookie Tyreke Evans has averaged 20.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists and is among the class of Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James to be the only rookies to accomplish such a feat.

With Bryant out, Shannon Brown will take his place at starting shooting guard.

PROJECTED STARTERS:

LAKERS:
(C) P. Gasol
(PF) L. Odom
(SF) R. Artest
(SG) S. Brown
(PG) D. Fisher

X-Factor: Consistency Efficiency.

Injuries:
A. Bynum (left Achilles) is out.
K. Bryant (knee/right index) is out.

KINGS:
(C) J. Thompson
(PF) C. Landry
(SF) A. Nocioni
(SG) T. Evans
(PG) B. Udrih

Injuries:
S. Hawes (left knee bone contusion) is out.
D. McGuire (torn right plantar fascia) is out.

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