The Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Sacramento Kings 122-99 Wednesday night in one of the more meaningless games, if not in NBA history, than certainly in Lakers' history. With rookie sensation Jordan Clarkson shelved with an ankle injury, there was little of note on the court to watch as the Lakers failed to avoid their worst record in franchise history.
The Lakers injury problems led to them attempting a zone defense for much of the first quarter to mitigate their communication issues and simplify things. It did not go well, and the team was down 33-23 after 1. Ben McLemore got loose for 10 of those 33 points, while new call-up Vander Blue answered with 7 of his own in an impressive start.
Byron Scott's squad began the second quarter in man to man defense, but that did little to slow down the Sacramento attack. Ryan Kelly scored the first 5 points of the second quarter for the Lakers en route to 9 points in the first half for the power forward masquerading as a wing. Carlos Boozer (10 points in the second quarter) left Staples Center feeling like they were on a Booze Cruise with the way fans must have thought they were hallucinating that the veteran big man was playing effectively as as wing. Unfortunately, the Lakers seemed uninterested in playing defense, allowing 56.8% shooting to the Kings and trailed 67-53 after one half of play.
The third quarter was the Jabari Brown show offensively for LA, with the rookie scoring 19 of his career high 32 points in the period as he continued to demonstrate why the Lakers were wise to lock him up to a cheap team option for next season. As was the story for the previous two quarters though, the Lakers could not stop the Kings on the other end for any sustained period of time, and trailed 94-77 headed into the final quarter, which was more of the same as the Lakers cruised to their 61st loss of the year.
Ben McLemore (24 points on 18 shots and 7 assists) and Ray McCallum (19 points on 14 shots with 6 assists) led the way for the Kings, and Derrick Williams contributed 22 points off of the bench.
Newest Laker Blue (15 points on 23 shots with 7 rebounds and 8 assists) struggled defensively and to shoot efficiently, as one would expect from most young D-League call ups in their first game with a team, but overall made a pretty good case for a Summer League roster spot and possible training camp invite with his thorough stuffing of the stat sheet. Jordan Hill exemplified all of the tendencies fans have begun to tire of this season, midrange clanking his way to 12 points on 5-14 shooting and 6 rebounds.
Thanks for following along with us this year on Silver Screen and Roll, and stay tuned for a big offseason in Lakerland.