The Los Angeles Lakers looked down and out early in Sacramento, but a second-half turnaround around left them with a satisfying 101-91 victory over the Kings. It was another collective effort — emphasis on effort — and another great game from the bench led to another Lakers victory.
Lou Williams made key buckets and free-throws as the Lakers mounted their comeback, down by as many as 19 points in the first half. Williams scored 16 of his 21 points in the final two frames, one of the many keys that helped the purple and gold outscore Sacramento 56-36 through the final 24 minutes.
Lou’s hot second half and control he played with did lead to D’Angelo Russell playing only slightly over seven minutes in the third quarter while sitting on the bench through the fourth. Russell started the game slow, struggling to handle the ball and make shots, but did have a solid mulligan coming out of halftime. He scored eight points on three-of-five shooting in the third quarter, ending the night with 17 points (7-of-12) and five turnovers.
Nick Young, folk hero of Los Angeles, also made a big impact. He dropped 16 points while making four of his nine three-point attempts, but it was a sequence that started on defense that would ultimately be the dagger he used to finish off the Kings. Up seven with 3:45 left in the fourth quarter, Young rotated to double on DeMarcus Cousins as he posted up Timofey Mozgov, poked the ball away, and was on the receiving end of a run the Jules pass that was good for three. The Lakers’ lead pushed back to double digits in what was a backbreaking play.
Randle finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists. DeMarcus Cousins got his, as expected, scoring 28 points on 25 shot attempts.
What began as an ugly game that felt far too much like last season turned into the exact kind of game we’ve seen from this group over and over since the start of the regular season. Another solid road win in a contest that almost slipped through the cracks in the first half, another game all about effort. Next up, Anthony Davis in New Orleans on Saturday.