Mike Bibby scored 40 points and Kenny Thomas recorded his first-career triple-double with 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists to counter Kobe Bryant’s 51 points, in a 118-109 overtime win for the Kings against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.
“Everybody on the floor had to do something, because Kobe is an incredible player,” said Kings rookie Francisco Garcia after his first experience guarding the NBA scoring leader. “It’s different in the NBA. One guy isn’t going to beat a guy like Kobe.”
Bibby is averaging 33.7 points during the three-game winning streak, including a career-high 42-point game Jan. 15 against Orlando. He is averaging 19.1 points with 7.1 assists in 11 career games against the Magic.
Peja Stojakovic scored 13 points against the Lakers, after missing three games due to a bulging disc in his back. He suffered the injury on Jan. 11 in an 88-80 win against Houston.
The eight-year veteran is scoring 16.5 points per game this season to put him in second on the team. His 22.9 points average in 12 games against the Magic is his highest against any opponent and he has also added 6.3 boards against them.
The Kings have taken five of the last six meetings against the Magic, with the only loss coming in a 114-111 matchup on March 2, 2005.
Orlando enters the game looking for their third straight win, after defeating the Charlotte Bobcats 104-93 on Friday.
Turkoglu, a former King, is averaging 12.5 points this season and 11.0 points in seven games against his former team .
Howard is averaging a double-double for the second-straight season. The former high school star is averaging 14.6 points and his 12.4 rebounds ranks him second in the league behind Detroit’s Ben Wallace (12.6).
The power forward is scoring 14.0 points with 13.3 boards in three games against the Kings.
Steve Francis returned to the starting lineup against the Bobcats, in his second game back, after serving a two-game suspension for refusing to re-enter a game on Jan. 11. He scored 13 points on 6-of-9 from the field against Charlotte.
Francis came off the bench for only the third time in his career and scored 12 points in Wednesday’s 106-98 win over Washington. The three-time all-star is averaging 18.9 points in 21 career games against Sacramento.