For long stretches of the game, it appeared Luke Walton would get revenge over his former organization. Then, for some reason, he went with Corey Joseph as the matchup of LeBron James and, well, it didn’t go well. The Lakers would look significantly better in the second half and beat “rival” Sacrament 99-97.
This obviously wasn’t the only factor, but it was certainly funny to watch Walton overthink the game from this point of view.
Before the game, the Lakers found out they would be without their starting point guard this year, Avery Bradley, for potentially the next couple weeks. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope started in his place and, well, let’s just say his burner account has some work to do. Alex Caruso would start the second half and things looked considerably more fluid... for a while. In complete fairness, though, KCP would go on to score 12 points in the fourth, and given the way the Lakers played with their food all night, each bucket felt huge.
L.A. would go on to let Sacramento stay in the game much longer than they should have, keeping things within single digits late into the fourth. As the person in charge of the recap on a Friday night, thanks, guys. I appreciate that you let this come down to needing a game-winning block from Anthony Davis at the buzzer.
The story of the night as to why Sacramento was able to stick around as long as they did was the Lakers’ godawful shooting from deep. L.A. On the night, they would shoot 11-37, but it somehow felt even worse than that. A lot worse.
To this point, the Lakers have mostly taken care of business against inferior opponents. As annoying as Friday night was against a Kings team missing De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley, a win is still a win. What will be interesting to watch is whether Frank Vogel tweaks the starting lineup after such an uninspiring effort.
The Lakers have a day off Saturday but resume action Sunday night at home against the Atlanta Hawks.