<
>

Kings, Lakers resume fierce rivalry

LOS ANGELES (ESPN.com news services) -- Win a title, and then get back to me.

That is essentially what Rick Fox of the Los Angeles Lakers is telling the Sacramento Kings heading into tonight's showdown between the West powers at the Staples Center.

Fox says while he has respect for Sacramento, the Kings have not accomplished anything yet. With all their success in recent years, the Kings still have not advanced past the Western Conference finals. They do have the best record in the West right now.

The Kings came close to reaching the NBA Finals two years ago, but lost in overtime of Game 7 of the West finals -- to the Lakers.

"I think they see themselves as a peer," Fox told The Los Angeles Times on Tuesday. "They're a peer in that we all work in the NBA. And we've all had stretches of success individually and collectively as teams. But we're all judged on one thing. It's evident, we lose to San Antonio, they go to win the championship, our team is broken up...

"You know what? San Antonio is a peer. They won a championship ... and the day the Kings make it to the Finals or win a championship, I'd be the first to stand up in front of 'em and congratulate 'em. I'm just not a big fan of people who talk like they've done something, and they haven't done anything."

The Lakers have reeled off five straight wins after losing two
of three and are 22-8 since their last losing streak. They have
pulled within 3 games of the Kings in the Western
Conference and Pacific Division.

Los Angeles has won five straight home games since losing to
Sacramento on Feb. 26 and posted a 104-103 overtime victory
over the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.

Shaquille O'Neal had 31 points, a season-high 26 rebounds and
seven blocks and Kobe Bryant added 22 points, burying a jumper
with 25 seconds left to give the Lakers their 16th win in 20
games.

Bryant was in court Wednesday for his sexual
assault trial, but is expected to play.

Sacramento has dropped four of its last seven games, including a
112-101 home loss to the Bucks on Tuesday.

Mike Bibby scored 27 points and Peja Stojakovic added 21 for the
Kings, who never led and fell one-half game behind Indiana for
the league's best record.

Chris Webber fell just shy of a triple-double with 17 points, 10
rebounds and eight assists for Sacramento, which plays seven of
its next nine games against teams headed to the playoffs.

The Kings have won their first two meetings with the Lakers this
season and the teams meet again at Arco Arena on April 11.

Information from SportsTicker was used in this report.