Back in November, the Kings beat the Los Angeles Lakers rather handily in Sacramento.

The Kings aren't expecting to walk over the Lakers this time around.

The Lakers are hardly the dominant force in the Western Conference that most expected, but they're much better than the confused bunch the Kings thwarted 113-97 on Nov. 21 at Sleep Train Arena.

The Lakers have gone from eight games under .500 at 17-25 to 35-32 and within two games of the No. 6 seed in the West.

Lately, any drama about the Lakers is related to basketball games. And the man in the middle of the resurgence had been the focus of much of the "What's wrong with the Lakers?" chatter.

Center Dwight Howard, who had just seven points and nine rebounds in the November loss to the Kings, has been playing like a star recently.