Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

April 26, 2012
Smart on Bryant, Thornton's status for finale

Without much at stake for either team in tonight's regular-season finale between the Kings and Lakers, media attention has focused on the race between Kobe Bryant and the Thunder's Kevin Durant for the league's scoring title.

Bryant can wrest the title from Durant if he scores 38 points tonight.

That was Bryant's exact total last time the Kings and Lakers played in Los Angeles on March 2, a 115-107 win for the Lakers. The teams have split their first two games this season, with the Kings winning at home on Dec. 26. Bryant had 29 points in the first game.

"He's going to try to get 38 any night, it's not just tonight," said Kings head coach Keith Smart.

"You have a game plan when he's playing because he has the ability to go off for 40 or 50 points. ... He's going to try to score big no matter what. It's not a big deal with him trying to get a big night tonight."

Meanwhile it sounds like the Kings will finish the season without the services of their leading scorer, guard Marcus Thornton, who has missed the last three games with a left quad contusion.

"He'll probably just be there in a suit," Smart said.

If Thornton doesn't play he will finish this season averaging 18.7 points per game, his best mark in three NBA seasons.

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