RANDALL BENTON / rbenton@sacbee.com

The Kings' Isaiah Thomas tries to drive around the Lakers' Dwight Howard. Thomas had 10 points and five assists.

Kings notes: Pace picked up after deal with Rockets, D'Antoni says

Published: Sunday, Mar. 31, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 4C
Last Modified: Monday, Sep. 23, 2013 - 8:09 am

The Los Angeles Lakers' Mike D'Antoni knows about coaching an uptempo style, having directed several high-scoring Phoenix Suns teams.

So it's expected he would have a take on the Kings, who entered Saturday's game at Sleep Train Arena averaging a league-best 108.9 points since the All-Star break.

"The biggest thing is they made that trade," D'Antoni said. "They got Patrick Patterson to spread the floor and open it up for a lot of guys, for penetrators like the (Tyreke) Evans kid and guys like that. They're playing a faster, more uptempo game."

The Kings are 8-11 since the Feb. 20 trade that brought Patterson, Toney Douglas and Cole Aldrich and cash from the Houston Rockets for Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt.

D'Antoni also noted that Douglas, whom he coached with the New York Knicks, has provided a spark off the bench at guard.

Patterson is averaging 8.6 points in 18 games as a King while shooting 51.6 percent from the field, including 46.7 percent on three-pointers.

Back on the bench – Kings forward James Johnson was back with the team after missing the previous 10 games for personal reasons.

Johnson was away for the birth of his son Naymin, who was born a month premature but is doing well.

Johnson had his son's name tattooed in capital letters on his neck.

Moving on up – The Lakers' Kobe Bryant passed Wilt Chamberlain and moved into fourth place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

Bryant entered the game needing five points to pass Chamberlain's 31,419. His jumper with 7:54 left in the second quarter gave him six points and 31,421.

Bryant finished with 19 points, giving him 31,434. He trails Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928) and Michael Jordan (32,292).

Technical difficulties – Kings center DeMarcus Cousins drew his 14th technical foul of the season for slapping the scorer's table after Jason Thompson was called for a foul on Dwight Howard.

If he is called for two more technical fouls, he will be automatically suspended for one game.

Cousins has had one technical foul rescinded this season. Last season, he avoided a suspension when a technical foul was rescinded.

Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

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