Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Dwight Howard recorded 23 points and 18 rebounds and Kobe Bryant added 20 points as the Los Angeles Lakers cruised to a 103-90 victory over the Sacramento Kings Sunday at Staples Center.
The Lakers (3-4), who reportedly hired Mike D’Antoni to take over as coach, are beginning to look like legit NBA title contenders two games into the post-Mike Brown era as Bryant and Howard provided big numbers.
Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace contributed 18 points apiece while Jordan Hill chipped in with 8 points and 7 boards off the bench for the Lakers, who were drubbed by the Kings in three preseason games.
Former BYU hotshot Jimmer Fredette led the way for the Kings with 18 points while Jason Thompson delivered 15 points and 10 boards in 34 minutes of action.
The Lakers were previously negotiating with Phil Jackson to return on the sideline for a third time but a source said the 11-time NBA champion was asking for too much.
Jackson’s request of a special travel schedule along with a lucrative salary prompted the Lakers to tap plan B, which was to hire D’Antoni instead.