Friday , Mar , 02 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Big West: Lakers, Kings to battle in LA

(Sports Network) – Pacific Division rivals battle tonight, as the streaking
Los Angeles Lakers welcome the Sacramento Kings to the Staples Center.

This is the second of four meetings between the clubs this season. On January
4th, superstar Kobe Bryant scored nine of his game-high 42 points in overtime
to lift the Lakers over Sacramento, 132-128, at ARCO Arena.

The Lakers will host the Kings on April 1st, while Sacramento is scheduled to
welcome the Lakers on April 18th to ARCO Arena.

Sacramento has lost two straight after winning its last two at the Lakers. The
Lakers have won two in a row in the series.

Los Angeles has won three straight games. Bryant scored 21 of his 35 points at
the free throw line, lifting the Lakers over the Utah Jazz, 102-94, on Monday
at EnergySolutions Arena.

Smush Parker ended with 24 points and Lamar Odom had 19 points, 14 rebounds
and nine assists in the win over Utah for the Lakers, who have won three in a
row after a six-game losing streak.

On the injury front for the Lakers, center Andrew Bynum (flu) is probable for
tonight’s contest. Bynum is averaging 8.4 points and 6.5 rebounds in 58 games
this season.

The Lakers are 20-9 as the host this season. After tonight’s contest, they
will embark on a four-game road trip at Phoenix, Minnesota, Milwaukee and

Sacramento attempts to win back-to-back games, as it plays the first of a
short two-game road trip. On Wednesday, Kevin Martin scored 36 points to lead
the Kings over the Charlotte Bobcats, 135-120, at ARCO Arena.

Mike Bibby ended with 30 points and was 7-of-10 from beyond-the-arc in the win
over Charlotte for the Kings, who have won two of their last three games
overall. John Salmons contributed 15 points, five rebounds and five assists,
while Brad Miller finished with 14 points and six rebounds.

Forward Ron Artest (sore knee) is questionable for Sacramento. Artest, who did
not play against the Bobcats, is averaging 18.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.1
assists in 49 games this season.

The Kings are 8-20 on the road this season. They will visit the Portland Trail
Blazers on Saturday at the Rose Garden.