(Sports Network) - As the rumor mill churns in Los Angeles, the Lakers still
have games to play and will resume their homestand Sunday versus the
Sacramento Kings at Staples Center.
The Lakers fired coach Mike Brown hours before disposing of the Golden State
Warriors, 101-77, Friday night. Bernie Bickerstaff was appointed interim
coach, but rumors are circling that Phil Jackson could return to the team he
won five of his 11 NBA titles with.
Mike D'Antoni, Brian Shaw and Mike Dunleavy are possible options as coach, but
Bickerstaff is in charge right now. However, Bickerstaff doesn't appear to be
in the future plans for general manager Mitch Kupchak.
In the aftermath of the Brown firing, Kobe Bryant scored 27 points and Pau
Gasol added 14 and 16 rebounds. Dwight Howard was limited to six points and
eight rebounds for the Lakers, who have won two of three games since starting
0-3. Brown was 1-4 when he was relieved of his duties.
"It's been a long day," Bryant admitted. "We were all surprised with the news.
We just had to go about our business."
Bickerstaff talked about his day afterward.
"I had butterflies, but I enjoyed myself," Bickerstaff said. "Everybody had a
little pep in their step. We made some progress."
The Lakers had a 58-47 rebounding advantage and shot 40 percent for the game.
Jordan Hill contributed 14 points off the bench for Los Angeles, which also
will host San Antonio, Phoenix, Houston and Brooklyn. In other team news,
forward Devin Ebanks was inactive after getting arrested on suspicion of
driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs Friday morning.
Lakers new guard and veteran Steve Nash is still bothered by a left fibula
injury and isn't expected to return any time soon.
Sacramento looks to get back into the win column Sunday and had a modest two-
game winning streak cut short with Friday's 97-86 setback versus the Spurs.
Marcus Thornton and Jason Thompson scored 17 points apiece, while DeMarcus
Cousins had 14 points and nine rebounds for the Kings, who went 2-1 on a
"I thought our guys played really hard," Kings coach Keith Smart said. "But,
when you play a team like this, you have to be almost perfect. We had too many
Sacramento fell to 0-4 this season when trailing at halftime. Kings rookie
Thomas Robinson served the first game of his two-game suspension after
elbowing Detroit Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko in the head Wednesday.
After visiting the Lakers, Sacramento will return home for four games versus
the Trail Blazers, Hawks, Nets and Lakers.
The Kings took two of three meetings with the Lakers a season ago, but L.A.
has won 10 of the past 13 matchups in this series. Sacramento hasn't fared too
well as the guest against the Lakers, losing seven of the past eight.
The Sports Network