Despite playing mainly backup players, the Lakers took care of the Sacramento Kings 109-101 to win their second preseason game.
D'Angelo Russell continues to shine, scoring 21 points with eight assists in his 21 minutes of play. This was the first preseason game where D-Lo played during the second half as well.
Rui Hachimura also remained impressive starting tonight, scoring 13 points on 50% shooting and the Lakers' latest addition Gabe Vincent impressed scoring 18 points and going 4-8 from three.
The Lakers are now halfway done with the preseason schedule.
With no LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves, or Cam Reddish available for this game, it's clear this was a game to play backups compared to their last matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, which felt much more like a dress rehearsal for the regular season.
D’Angelo Russell - the - most - underrated - passer - in- the NBA— Ben Stinar (@BenStinar) October 12, 2023
With Russell being the only official starter on the court tonight, he demonstrated why head coach Darvin Ham already has so much confidence in him. He ran the Lakers' offense from the opening frame like a well-oiled machine. He started with a no-look dime to Gabe Vincent, attacked the basket, shot 80% from the field in the first and had five assists in the opening quarter alone. He took his first moments of rest at the 3:33 mark and the Honda Center crowd peppered him in applause while his teammates embraced him with high fives.
The Lakers stayed in control most of the first half despite going against a Sacramento Kings squad that ran the same starting five they had in Game 7 against the Warriors with the exception of Keegan Murray. The Kings did rally back in the second quarter as both teams exchanged buckets in the closing minutes with Sacramento holding on to a one-point edge at the break.
L.A. brought back the same starting five to begin the third, something they haven't done all preseason. The chemistry was evident with Gabe Vincent hitting threes and Russell continuing to shoot lights out. The Lakers scored 11 points unanswered as the Kings were forced to call timeout. A visibly delighted AD and Bron rose from their seats and did the "Freezer" celebration after another Russell three.
With a double-digit lead entering the fourth the Lakers relied on their young core and continued to extend the lead. Sacramento never closed the gap and the Lakers cruised to victory in Orange County.
Despite many of the main guys missing, the Lakers looked good. D’Lo is demonstrating his best qualities while minimizing his worst, Hachimura continues to be one of the best offensive weapons and new additions Prince, Hayes and Vincent all were productive.
The Lakers will have their next matchup against the Warriors on Friday at home at 7 p.m. PT and will be aired nationally on ESPN2. Will this game be one the Lakers take seriously or will they rest the starters again and play the Giannis Antetokounmpo/Damian Lillard Milwaukee Bucks with everyone available on Sunday?
Either way we'll be here to cover it all at Silver Screen & Roll.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.