We interrupt your regularly scheduled #KawhiWatch to bring you this important message: The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Sacramento Kings in their California Classic finale Wednesday at the Golden 1 Center in a come-from-behind-victory. They finished the tournament with a 2-1 record.
A win against a tough Sacramento side always seemed unlikely, and any hope they had seemingly flew out of the window when it became evident it wasn’t going to be Zach Norvell Jr.’s night. Through the first three quarters, Norvell contributed just 5 points on a lowly 20 percent shooting from the field, including 0-5 from behind the 3-point line. While he was still able to make an impact by dishing out a game-high 8 assists, his lack of scoring hurt the team for most of the afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Kings were able to get a balanced scoring effort from their team, with five different players finishing in double figures. Wenyen Gabriel led the way for the Kings with 16 points on an efficient 50 percent shooting from the field. NCAA Tournament standout and No. 55 pick Kyle Guy was just behind him with 14 points.
Luckily, Norvell was able to make up for it by hitting the biggest shot of the game. With less than 10 seconds left, South Bay Lakers alumnus Marcus Allen found Norvell in the far left corner and Norvell drained the 3-pointer to give Los Angeles the win. They finished the tournament 2-1.
Along with Norvell’s big shot, the Lakers got a handful of timely buckets from Jordan Howard, who got the starting nod ahead of veteran guard Joe Young on Wednesday. Head coach Coby Karl’s decision paid off as Howard finished with a game-high 25 points on 10-15 shooting from the field, including 5-8 from behind the arc. Nick Perkins finished five points short of the team-high scoring honors, but he was able to finish with 7 rebounds, which was tied for the team-high with Dakota Mathias.
After recovering from a tough start to the tournament, the Lakers will get the opportunity to keep rolling this weekend in Las Vegas. If all goes well, their lone pick from this year’s draft, Talen Horton-Tucker, will be cleared to play. He’ll be re-evaluated when the team arrives in Vegas.
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