The Lakers defeated the Sacramento Kings, 94-89, on Sunday night in Las Vegas for their first exhibition victory in three tries. Pau Gasol scored 12 points and had six rebounds in 22 minutes, 10 seconds. Gasol and fellow 7-footer Andrew Bynum started together for the first time. Bynum had nine points and five rebounds in 22:18.
Here are a few postgame thoughts from Derek Fisher, who had eight points:
“I think we did some things better on the defensive end. Sacramento is a good passing team. They move the ball well. We had to key in on the defensive end. I think we did a better job. We still gave up a lot of penetration on screen-and-rolls. With so many different lineups and personnel changes going on, you can expect some mix-ups at times.”
Coach Phil Jackson used Lamar Odom in a new role as the Lakers’ sixth man. Odom had four points, nine rebounds and three assists in 21:40. Jackson seemed pleased, telling reporters after the game:
“He had initiative. He came off the bench, and I liked that. He came off the bench with six minutes to go in the first quarter and didn’t get stiff sitting on the bench. He came out and played hard, and I liked that.”
Odom had this to say about playing a reserve role:
“It’s been such a long time, but it was cool. This just happens to be the third game. Whether I’m a starter or not, I’m going to feel a lot more comfortable every game we play, whether it be starting or coming off the bench.”
FYI: Odom said the last time he played regularly as a backup was when he was in the ninth grade, playing on an AAU team in New York City. He and Ron Artest, now with the Houston Rockets, were reserves. Odom also said he was a substitute for a time while at Christ the King High School in Queens, N.Y.