Kobe Bryant not worried about 0-2
Is Kobe Bryant worried?
"No," he said after seeing the Kings finish the night on an 11-4 run to blow back open a game that Sacramento had led by as many as 15 in the fourth quarter before the Lakers cut it to just two with 4:24 remaining.
Bryant, who preached positivity Sunday after the Lakers had a different set of fourth-quarter difficulties as they blew an 11-point fourth quarter lead against the Chicago Bulls, did his best to maintain a sunny outlook.
"It will kick in," Bryant said. "There's a certain about of repetitions I guess. I don't read those damn books (but they say) there's a certain amount of repetitions you have to go through and we'll go through them and we'll be better."
But Bryant also said he was already "not patient now," as the team is looking to find its stride.
Bryant was asked if he could take anything positive out of the loss and he deadpanned, "Nobody got seriously injured. That's about it."
Coach Mike Brown blamed the loss on the Lakers' defense that allowed the Kings to break the 100-point mark as Sacramento shot 9-for-18 (50 percent) on 3-pointers.
"What I saw in terms of our defense was disappointing," Brown said. "It was almost like tonight was a step backwards from what we saw (Sunday)."
The Kings were able to take control of the game late particularly on the offensive glass.
"We gave up way too many offensive rebounds," Bryant said. "It's something that we talked about. We just gave up too many of them at the wrong time."
The Lakers outrebounded the Kings 45-40 for the game, but Sacramento controlled the glass 12-10 in the fourth, with six of those boards coming on the offensive end.
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Metta World Peace said Bynum's absence, and the lineup adjustments it has caused, made it, "normal to have a little let down right now."
Brown would not use Bynum as a crutch.
"Yes, we would like him here but the reality of it is, he's not here and we still have a good enough team to compete better than we did (Monday)," Brown said. "That's what's disappointing. I thought that we competed for a small amount of the basketball game and we have to do it for 48 minutes. Right now we're not doing it for 48 minutes."
The Lakers wrap up their season opening back-to-back-to-back by hosting the Utah Jazz on Tuesday at the Staples Center in a game that suddenly has more significance with an 0-3 record as a potential consequence for playing poorly.
"Now we have to approach (Tuesday) as a big-time game for us in order to be able to bounce back and put these two games behind us and learn from them," said Pau Gasol, who played with a wrap because of a mild sprain of his right shoulder. "It's going to be hard, but we'll do our very best."
Said Bryant, who was a third-year player the last time the league scheduled games on three consecutive days in the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season: "We'll see. I haven't played three in a row since '99, when most of these kids were in grade school."
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.