Lakers forward Devin Ebanks, left, puts up a shot in front of Sacramento… (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated…)
SACRAMENTO -- Anyone seeking deep insight into the Lakers was bound to be disappointed.
The team rested starters Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum and played a hodgepodge of reserves during a 113-96 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night at Power Balance Pavilion in their regular-season finale.
On the bright side, the playoffs start for the Lakers on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center against the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers won three of four meetings between the teams during the regular season.
Josh McRoberts led the Lakers with 16 points and nine rebounds. Devin Ebanks and Ramon Sessions also played well for the Lakers, with Ebanks scoring 14 points on seven-for-11 shooting and Sessions collecting 14 points while making six of 13 shots.
But DeMarcus Cousins was a one-man force for the Kings, finishing with 23 points and 19 rebounds while Tyreke Evans added 21 points.
Things became so comfortable for the Kings that rookie Tyler Honeycutt, the seldom-used forward out of UCLA, played most of the third quarter and finished with a career-high seven points to go with a nifty alley-oop pass to Donte Greene.
If it’s any consolation for the dreadful Kings, they did win two of three meetings with the Lakers this season and swept them at home. Though the team faces an uncertain future with plans for a new arena in limbo, they are contractually obligated to remain in Sacramento through at least the end of next season.
Swingman Christian Eyenga had eight points in 19 minutes in his Lakers debut after being promoted from the Development League.
Kings 56, Lakers 43 (halftime)
It wasn't too hard to see this coming.
The Lakers rested starters Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum and then came out with a sloppy display for much of the first half Thursday night against the Sacramento Kings at Power Balance Pavilion.
Bryant's decision to sit cost him a shot at winning a third scoring title; he ended the season averaging 27.86 points per game, trailing only Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (28.03).
“Thirty-eight, Kobe!,” a fan yelled at Bryant, alluding to the number of points Bryant needed to surpass Durant for the scoring title.
The Lakers' starting lineup consisted of usual reserves Jordan Hill, Devin Ebanks, Josh McRoberts and Steve Blake plus Ramon Sessions, their primary point guard.
The Lakers' big men played relatively well. Troy Murphy had eight points and five rebounds off the bench, supplementing McRoberts' seven points and five rebounds and Hill's six points and six rebounds.
But the Lakers struggled to put the ball in the basket, shooting 38.8% to Sacramento's 48.0%. Jason Thompson has 12 points and seven rebounds and DeMarcus Cousins has 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Kings.
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