The Los Angeles Lakers pulled out an improbable victory in their preseason opener, downing the Sacramento Kings 103-84 at the Honda Center in Anaheim. After falling behind by as much as 19 points, the Laker reserves outperformed their Kings counterparts and dominated the second half to earn the victory.
Sacramento head coach Dave Joerger elected to rest his starters after intermission, allowing the Lakers to feast on essentially a D-League lineup from the Kings.
Tarik Black led the way for the Los Angeles bench in the second half, scoring 15 points and pulling down five rebounds. His overall high activity level sparked the Lakers, highlighted by one sequence at the start of the fourth quarter when Black stole an inbounds pass and took the ball the length of the court for a bucket and the foul.
After struggling throughout his Lakers career to shoot the ball, Anthony Brown put on a fine showing in the final period, scoring 10 points on a perfect four-of-four shooting performance from the field.
Timofey Mozgov also impressed in his debut in purple and gold, showing smart defensive positioning and quick decision-making on offense, in addition to pulling down nine rebounds to lead the team. Lou Williams was another bright spot early in the game, showing his trademark ability to generate offense and draw fouls on jump shots.
The Lakers’ struggles against Sacramento’s first unit will not be forgotten, however, particularly on the defensive end. The Los Angeles guards provided little resistance to dribble penetration and repeatedly got lost on screens.
Nevertheless, by hook or by crook, the Lakers notched their first victory of a new era, continuing the good feelings that have persisted this offseason. They take the floor next on Friday against the Denver Nuggets.