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Kings complete first season sweep of Lakers
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Darren Collison had 22 points in his ninth start of the season, DeMarcus Cousins also scored 22 and the Sacramento Kings completed a four-game season sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers with a 106-98 victory Tuesday night.
The Lakers, who trailed by as many as 23, got as close as 97-91 on a pair of free throws by Julius Randle that capped a 15-5 run with 3:14 to play. Rudy Gay clinched it for the Kings by scoring seven of his 20 points in the final 2:57.
This was the first time the Kings went an entire season without losing to the Lakers during the franchise’s 68-year history, which dates back to the 1948-49 Rochester Royals. Sacramento has won eight of the last nine meetings, after losing 16 of the previous 21.
Rajon Rondo had 12 assists, nine points and six rebounds to help the Kings snap a five-game skid. And they did it even though Cousins didn’t make a field goal until converting a layup with 2.3 seconds left in the first half.
The two-time All-Star, playing his second game following a one-game suspension for his on-court outburst at coach George Karl during a loss against Cleveland last Wednesday, missed his first four shots and finished 4 for 10 with eight rebounds.
Collison started at shooting guard and made 10 of 14 shots in place of Ben McLemore, who missed his fourth straight game with a non-displaced fracture in his right ring finger. The seven-year veteran from UCLA came in averaging 13.3 points.
Kobe Bryant, battling shoulder problems throughout his 20th and final NBA season, sat out. Metta World Peace, who spent two-plus seasons with Sacramento as Ron Artest, had two points in 20 minutes in his fourth start this season and first since Nov. 16.
Reserve guard Lou Williams led the Lakers with 17 points on a night when the team was 5 for 26 from 3-point range and committed 22 turnovers that were converted into 30 points. Reserve forward Brandon Bass was sidelined because of a corneal abrasion in his right eye.
Sacramento never trailed, opening the game with an 18-4 run and increasing the margin to 28-9 with 18 fast-break points. Los Angeles had seven turnovers in the first quarter alone.
None of the Lakers reached double digits in points until Williams hit a 3-pointer with 6:41 left in the third quarter. By then, the Kings were ahead 71-51.
The Lakers have lost 23 of 28 and with 14 games to play they are within seven losses of matching the worst season in franchise history.
Kings: Karl has used 24 different starting lineups in his first full season with Sacramento. . Cousins averaged 21.5 points, 9.3 rebounds and 53.1 percent shooting from the field in his other three games against the Lakers this season. . Willie Cauley-Stein, the sixth overall pick in the draft, had eight points on 3-for-3 shooting. He began the day leading all rookies in field goal percentage (60.1 percent).
Lakers: Staples Center’s public address announcer, Lawrence Tanter, always points out just before the player introductions that the Lakers have the most regular-season wins in NBA history. But their lead over Boston has shrunk to 22, with the Celtics having won 44 more times than Los Angeles since the start of last season. . Bryant has missed 15 of the Lakers’ 68 games. They are 4-11 with him out of the lineup.
Kings: Host New Orleans on Wednesday.
Lakers: Host Phoenix on Friday.