LOS ANGELES This is not what Keith Smart had in mind when he talked about using 10 to 11 players nightly.
The Kings' coach had only 11 players available because starting center DeMarcus Cousins and rookie power forward Thomas Robinson were serving league-mandated suspensions.
Even against a Los Angeles Lakers team that finished the game with its third- and fourth-string point guards, the result was predictable.
The bigger Lakers eventually wore down the Kings, sending Sacramento to its second consecutive defeat, 103-90, Sunday night at Staples Center.
Starting power forward Jason Thompson moved to center, and Travis Outlaw started at power forward. Chuck Hayes was the only post player left on the bench.
Outlaw found out he was starting just before tipoff, a few hours after the team learned Cousins was suspended for a postgame altercation with San Antonio television analyst Sean Elliott on Friday.
"It's tough," Outlaw said. "Pau Gasol is a hell of a power forward."
The Kings will get Robinson back for Tuesday's game against Portland. He was suspended for a flagrant foul 2 Wednesday against Detroit forward Jonas Jerebko.
But the Kings will be without Cousins for one more game. Not having his greatest strength rebounding showed. It also didn't help when Thompson fouled out in the fourth quarter.
"We have a depleted team that we're playing with," Smart said. "And then we lost another big during the course of the game. I thought our guys had to play out of position a lot against some talented big guys. I thought overall they did a good job. They showed some fight."
The Kings (2-5) were outrebounded 50-39 and gave up 20 second-chance points.
Lakers center Dwight Howard had 23 points, 18 rebounds and three blocked shots. Gasol had 18 points.
The lack of size also was exploited on the perimeter. Kobe Bryant had 20 points, six rebounds and six assists, and Metta World Peace had 18 points and five rebounds for the Lakers (3-4).
Bryant said he was "disappointed" Cousins did not play. After last season's opener in Sacramento, Bryant said he hoped Cousins would cut out antics that took away from his talent on the court.
"I expect great things from (Cousins)," Bryant said. "I expect him to turn the corner and be the player he can become."
Despite the loss, Smart said there were a lot of positives. One of them was Jimmer Fredette, who led the Kings with 18 points off the bench. He made 7 of 9 shots, including 3 of 5 three-pointers.
Fredette has been the third point guard on a Kings team that's struggling with its shooting. His production in limited minutes is becoming hard to ignore.
"I've got to make room on the floor for him because he's just too positive right now with what he's doing," Smart said. "He's kept a perfect attitude the whole time, and I've got find ways to make sure he's on the floor."
The Kings are shooting 40.1 percent from the field and 29.5 percent on three-pointers. Fredette is shooting 64 percent (16 of 25) from the floor and 50 percent (5 of 10) on three-pointers. Thompson is the only other King shooting above 50 percent.
Fredette has played 48 minutes, 12 seconds this season.
"I just try to go out and provide a spark whenever I can with limited minutes," Fredette said, "so you've just got to go out there and do the best you can."