The Los Angeles Lakers opened up an early lead over the Sacramento Kings that delivered enough impact to let them slip away from an ugly fourth quarter with a 99-86 victory. Notching back-to-back wins is a big step for the Lakers, who haven’t won a second game in a row since Dec. 9.
Lonzo Ball racked up an unusual double-double, dishing 11 assists and grabbing 11 rebounds but only scoring five points. His 2-of-10 shooting night, despite impacting the game, is the kind of thing the Lakers were missing even if his own scoring was out of sync.
Brook Lopez came in with his cannon loaded to make up for it, draining five of his eight three-point attempts. He played just 22 minutes but scored 18 points, making a huge difference as the Lakers’ second-leading scorer.
The Kings’ offense was brutal, with De’Aaron Fox leading their scoring with 15 points on 6-of-16 shooting. He did come away with four steals though, taking advantage of the Lakers’ turnover-prone ways. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored a team-high 19 points for Sacramento.
The Lakers once again got out in transition, outscoring the Kings 35-8 in fastbreak points after hitting a franchise-high mark against the Atlanta Hawks. It turns out having your team fully healthy, and floor leader back in the flow of the season, makes a big difference.
The Lakers are off Wednesday, bracing for the San Antonio Spurs to come to town on Thursday.