Published January 29, 2011
LOS ANGELES – DeMarcus Cousins had 27 points and 10 rebounds, Omri Casspi added 20 points and the Sacramento Kings snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Los Angeles Lakers with a stunning 100-95 victory over the two-time defending champions on Friday night.
Kobe Bryant passed Hakeem Olajuwon for eighth place on the NBA's career scoring list while scoring 21 of his 38 points in the first quarter, but the Lakers apparently got caught looking ahead to Sunday's NBA finals rematch with Boston.
Samuel Dalembert scored 18 points as the Kings (11-33) jumped to a 20-point lead in the third quarter against the Lakers' disinterested defense.
The Kings then survived the Lakers' late rally for their first win over their one-time archrivals since December 2008.
Even though captain Derek Fisher put a two-day ban on all talk and thought about the Celtics during Thursday's practice, the Lakers resembled the disorganized, disinterested bunch that overlooked Milwaukee in an embarrassing home loss four days before the Miami Heat's visit on Christmas — another blowout defeat.
Shannon Brown scored 17 points, but Pau Gasol struggled with nine points on 4-of-11 shooting, and Lamar Odom had just four points while missing all seven of his field goal attempts. Los Angeles has won 10 of 13, but just three of its last six heading into Sunday.
Cousins scored 22 points in the first half before finishing one point shy of his career high for the Kings, who pulled the upset despite having the NBA's third-worst record after losing eight of their previous 10.
The Kings hadn't beaten the Lakers anywhere since December 2008, and this victory was their third impressive road win in the past three weeks. Sacramento also won at New York and Portland before posting its first road win over the Lakers since March 2008.
Dalembert and Casspi led a crisp 18-4 run after halftime, and Sacramento eventually went ahead 81-61 midway through the third quarter. Dalembert took over where Cousins left off exploiting Los Angeles' 7-footers from the perimeter, hitting his first five shots after halftime.
The Lakers trimmed the lead to 14 points heading into the fourth quarter, and consecutive dunks by Bryant and Gasol cut Sacramento's edge to 93-89 with 3:19 to play. But the Lakers got just one point out of their next three possessions, and Casspi tipped home Tyreke Evans' missed jumper with 1:29 to play before the Kings hit free throws in the final minute.
Evans had 13 points for Sacramento, and Carl Landry added 12.
In Bryant's first game since earning a starting spot at Staples Center next month in his 13th All-Star game, the leading All-Star vote-getter needed 13 points to pass Olajuwon. He got them all in the first 8½ minutes, breaking downcourt for a one-handed jam for the decisive 24,947th point.
The Kings were in top offensive form despite Bryant's monster first quarter, scoring from all over the court against Los Angeles' step-slow defense to take a 59-55 halftime lead.
NOTES: Cousins and Gasol exchanged angry looks and lightly bumped chests with 2:52 to play after Gasol forced a turnover by pressuring Cousins near the Lakers' bench. ... The lead changed hands on 11 consecutive scoring possessions during a five-minute span in the second quarter. ... Fans entering Staples Center were told they might appear in "Jack and Jill," a movie starring Adam Sandler, Al Pacino and Katie Holmes. Director Dennis Dugan ("Happy Gilmore") was in the building with a crew. ... Fans near courtside included Joe Walsh, Nicky Hilton and Robert Horry.