10:00 PM ET, December 6, 2013
Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA
It’s almost Kobe Bryant time again. However, not just yet as tonight the Los Angeles Lakers will have to make do without their star when they meet the Sacramento Kings.
Yesterday the 35 year-old star player practiced for a third straight day without any setbacks, though the L.A. team dispelled the speculation he might play versus Sacramento. He did mention Sunday’s NBA versus the Toronto Raptors as a possibility if he feels like he is ready to return from the torn left Achilles he suffered on April 12.
Even when the Lakers are without Bryant, Los Angeles (9-9) has won five of seven. According to YouWager experts, the team has to do without another player, Jordan Farmar, who is expected to miss four weeks after tearing his left hamstring in Sunday’s 114-108 home defeat versus the Portland Trailblazers.
Without Farmar, Steve Blake is the team’s only true point guard. Steve Nash is still out due to a back injury with no timetable for his return.
Despite losing the 27 year-old Farmar in Sunday’s first quarter, Los Angeles brought themselves within a point of Portland after entering the fourth quarter with a 20-point deficit.
Sacramento (4-12) has lost five basketball games in a row, though three of those defeats were by a combined five points and another was in overtime. Even so, the lone lopsided result was a 100-86 setback in Los Angeles on Nov. 24, the Lakers’ third straight win in the series. Xavier Henry had 21 points off the bench while Pau Gasol scored 20.
In the same way Henry kept Los Angeles alive against the Blazers, Isaiah Thomas nearly led a successful Kings rally in Tuesday’s 97-95 home defeat versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.
According to the NBA odds, the Kings also had to do also without DeMarcus Cousins due to a sprained right ankle, but he is expected to play tonight. Coach Mike Malone was impressed with Sacramento’s performance considering the absence of its leading scorer and rebounder.