In a high scoring affair, the Los Angeles Lakers (19-21) extended their four game winning streak after beating the (20-18) Sacramento Kings 136-134.
For tonight’s matchup the Lakers were depleted with multiple players missing action, including: Troy Brown Jr. (left quad strain), Anthony Davis (stress injury/right foot), Austin Reaves (left hamstring strain), and Lonnie Walker IV (left knee tendinitis). As for the Kings, they were healthy for the most part with the exception for Malik Monk (calf).
To say the least, the contest between these two pacific rivals could be best described as an offensive showdown. For starters, both teams put up nearly 40 points through the first three quarters while shooting over 50% from the field and over 40% from downtown overall. Furthermore, as the half concluded the score was all tied up at 73, with the lead being tossed up for a total of nine times as well as eleven ties. Both teams were having standout performances from their star players as LeBron was leading the way for the Lakers with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists while Domantas Sabonis led the way for the Kings with 12 points and 5 rebounds. Additionally, each team had three different players in their lineups scoring in the double-digits.
Going into the second half, both teams continued to perform with such remarkable efficiency as the Lakers were shooting 59% from the field while the Kings amped it up a notch shooting 72% from the field in the third quarter alone. As the fourth quarter rolled on in, the Lakers had played at an exceptional level defensively as they held the scorching Kings to 42% shooting from the field while shutting down their 3-point shot entirely: Marking it as the first time in the game that either team had shot below the 45% mark from the field. The final quarter also had its fair share of drama, as the Lakers had jumped out to a 122-113 lead stemming from an 11-2 run with over halfway to go. The Kings had responded with a 15-4 scoring run of their own in order to take back the lead with just under four minutes left to go. As aforementioned, the drama in the fourth quarter really came about within the final minute. After a defensive stop for the Lakers, Russell Westbrook was fouled by Sabonis (fouled out) on his vicious dunk at the basket that was ruled in favor for the Kings as he wasn’t awarded with the continuation. After De’Aaron had tied the game with a contested jumper from the elbow with just 8 seconds left on the clock, the Kings were able to pull together a crucial stop in order to get a final attempt to win the game. When all things seemed to be lost for the Lakers, Dennis Schröder was able to create a detrimental turnover for the Kings. Off the inbound, Schröder took it all the way to the rack before getting fouled by Fox to ice the game at the line for another Lakers victory.
LeBron James had himself with another masterclass performance as he compiled the following stat line: 37 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. The rest of the Lakers cavalry contributed with Thomas Bryant leading the way with 29 points and 14 rebounds (86% field goal), Schröder with 27 points, and Westbrook with 23 points and 15 assists.
As for the Kings, De’Aaron Fox led the way with 34 points and 9 assists while receiving additional help from players such as: Sabonis with 25 points and 12 rebounds, Harrison Barnes with 18 points, Kevin Huerter with 17 points, and Keegan Murray pouring 16 points of his own.
The Los Angeles Lakers (19-21) will seek to build upon their recent found success in hopes to extend their winning streak to six, against the best team in the conference with the Denver Nuggets (26-13), Monday night. The last outing between these two teams had the Lakers prevailing 126-108 with Anthony Davis going down. On the season, the Nuggets have the 7th best offense, averaging 116.9 points per game while defensively they allow 113.8 points per game.
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