The Los Angeles Lakers had a healthy lead over the Sacramento Kings going into halftime, but a third quarter collapse to DeMarcus Cousins doomed them in a 116-92 loss. That makes it seven losses in a row for the Lakers, who start their road trip off on the wrong foot.
Luke Walton earned his first ejection as a head coach, blowing up on the referees after Cousins tossed Julius Randle to the floor in the first quarter. The team held it together for a bit, but their defensive collapse turned everything around.
The Kings enjoyed their highest-scoring quarter of the season, dropping 39 points on the Lakers out of halftime. A nine-point Lakers lead at half suddenly became a 20-point Kings lead over the stunning nine-minute span. There was no stopping Cousins during that fateful stretch, and letting Garret Temple (10 points) and Darren Collison (7 points) also unload on them put things over the top in the blink of an eye.
Sacramento outscored the Lakers 39-13 in the third and there was no looking back.
D’Angelo Russell looked much more under control — aside from struggling like the rest of the team to start the third quarter — and finished the night with a team-high 17 points and four assists, making three of his four three-point attempts. He logged just under 20 minutes in his second game back.
Cousins finished with a game-high 31 points and 16 rebounds, stacking up his points from outside and around the rim. Luol Deng had his second solid game in a row, adding in 16 points, four rebounds and four assists. Even the Lakers’ bench, which has been their consistent bright spot, lost to their counterpart.
The drubbing the Lakers sustained in the third quarter was a beat down that won’t be soon forgotten. They’ve got a long flight out to Brooklyn to face the Nets on Wednesday to figure out what happened.