LOS ANGELES -- Jordan Farmar scored a career-high 30 points off the bench, making eight of 10 shots from 3-point range, and the Los Angeles Lakers capitalized on the absence of suspended Sacramento star DeMarcus Cousins to beat the Kings 126-122 Friday night.
Jodie Meeks made all eight of his shots and finished with 22 points, including three of the Lakers' franchise-record 19 3-pointers on 27 attempts. Pau Gasol also scored 22, and newly acquired reserve MarShon Brooks had 23.
The Lakers shot 60 per cent in a matchup of teams with the two worst records in the Western Conference. They have won the first three meetings against the Kings this season, with one remaining on April 2 at Sacramento.
Los Angeles is a game behind the Kings in the conference standings and 1 1/2 behind Utah.
The Lakers (20-39) must go 11-12 the rest of the way to avoid tying the 1974-75 squad for the worst record in a regulation season since the franchise relocated from Minneapolis to Los Angeles in 1960-61.
Rudy Gay scored 32 points for the Kings, who squandered a 12-point lead before halftime and then blew a 15-point lead in the second half despite converting 17 Lakers turnovers into 25 points. Derrick Williams and Isaiah Thomas each had 27 points.
First-year Sacramento coach Michael Malone used his 14th different starting lineup, with Williams making his first start since Feb. 2 and power forward Jason Thompson shifting to centre in Cousins' spot.
Cousins, who is averaging a team-high 22.3 points, received a one-game ban from the NBA on Thursday for punching Houston guard Patrick Beverley in the stomach during the Kings' 129-103 home loss Tuesday night.
Suspensions are nothing new to Cousins. Last season, the enigmatic four-year veteran with the hair-trigger temper was suspended two games by the league for confronting San Antonio TV analyst and former player Sean Elliott in a hostile manner on the court following the Spurs' postgame show, because of some on-air remarks Elliott made criticizing Cousins for trash-talking with Tim Duncan.
About a month later, Cousins was suspended one game for striking Dallas' O.J. Mayo in the groin area. Cousins got into trouble again less than 1 1/2 weeks after that while the Kings were at Staples Center to play the Clippers. That night he shouted at Kings coach Keith Smart in the locker room during halftime, was benched for the rest of that game and then suspended two games for "unprofessional behaviour and conduct detrimental to the team."
On New Year's Day 2012, Cousins demanded a trade and was ordered by then-coach Paul Westphal to stay home for a game while the team was in New Orleans because of his "lack of commitment" to the organization.
NOTES: The only other 30-point game for a Lakers player this season was by Nick Young, who had 31 on Jan. 20 in an overtime loss at Chicago. ... Lakers point guard Kendall Marshall played 19 scoreless minutes with 10 assists. ... The Kings came in averaging a league-worst 22.9 fouls. They were called for 16 against the Lakers. ... The Lakers are one of seven teams that have lost 20 or more games by double-digit margins. ... Sacramento will host Minnesota and New Orleans before going back on the road for seven straight games. ... The Lakers have won 16 of their last 20 against the Kings, with three of the losses coming in Sacramento.