By their admission, the Kings have played with a lack of energy for important stretches of games during their bad start to the season.
As expected, that wasn't an issue Wednesday night at Sleep Train Arena.
The Los Angeles Lakers were in town. And if anything, the Kings usually play with plenty of energy and effort whenever they see the Lakers.
And with that, the Kings ended their five-game losing streak 113-97.
"It always feels good beating the Lakers," Kings guard Marcus Thornton said. "The fans be into it, and we really don't want to let them down so we come out and play hard. I don't know what for, but we play extremely hard against the Lakers."
After a slow start, the Kings scored more points in each quarter, finishing with a season-high 40 in the fourth.
The Kings shot well, which had not been the trend to start the season. The Kings shot a season-best 54.3 percent. It was the first time the Kings shot above 50 percent all season, besting the 48.8 percent the Kings shot Nov. 7 in beating Detroit.
The Kings also made 7 of 15 three-pointers (46.7 percent), another season best.
The season bests contributed to a season high in points. The Kings had scored more than 100 points once in their first 10 games.
Catching the Lakers in the second of back-to-back games, the Kings were able to use a strong second half to pull away.
Thornton led the Kings with 23 points. Tyreke Evans had 18 points and team-high six assists. They forced 20 turnovers (leading to 23 points), outrebounded the Lakers 41-33 and played with the enthusiasm they showed in the preseason.
How do the Kings keep this up?
"No. 1, we're going to redirect our schedule," Kings coach Keith Smart joked. "We want to play the Lakers and every big team."
Smart can't figure out why the Kings (3-8) have a habit of not showing up unless a marquee team like Lakers, Boston Celtics or Oklahoma City Thunder is the opponent.
"I do believe that comes with your leadership of the team," Smart said. "As your team grows, they understand the pace they have to play at to start a game off. I think that's when you get to that point. You look at some of the elite teams, they come in and play at a fast pace right off the bat."
The Lakers tried, taking a 21-15 lead after the first quarter.
But the Kings would outscore the Lakers in every quarter after that.
The Lakers (6-6) were playing their third game in four nights. And as the game wore on, the Kings had too much energy and withstood an offensive onslaught from Kobe Bryant.
Bryant scored a game-high 38 points on 11-of-20 shooting, but big men Dwight Howard (seven points, nine rebounds) and Pau Gasol (eight points, nine rebounds) couldn't match Bryant's pace.
Lakers reserve guard Jodie Meeks had 15 points. He hadn't scored more than seven points in a game this season. Meeks had scored 25 points all season.
The Kings' bench, led by Thornton, outscored the Lakers' reserves 49-19.
Chuck Hayes came off the bench to score 10 points filling in for DeMarcus Cousins, who was slowed by foul trouble.
James Johnson had six points and a season-high five assists.
Now the Kings have to see if they can carry this energy on the road to Utah.
"Win or lose, we play that hard every night, I'll take it," Thornton said.