The fake comeback was in full force for the Lakers on Wednesday. After falling behind by over 20 points, a fourth-quarter rally got the margin down to single digits, but Sacramento survived to hang on for a 125-110 victory.
The Kings looked sharp from the opening with De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, and Kevin Huerter bullying the Lakers all game long. Only a big fourth-quarter spurt changed that dynamic on the night.
After playing a season-low 23 minutes against the Memphis Grizzlies, LeBron James played 35 minutes minutes scoring 28 points with 10 rebounds, 11 assists, four steals, and one chase-down block on Sabonis. Anthony Davis did not have an Anthony Davis kind of game, finishing with nine points on 3-9 shooting.
D’Angelo Russell continued his strong run of games with 28 points on 12-20 shooting while Cam Reddish had 16 points and five steals.
The Lakers came out of the gate playing lackadaisical, quickly falling behind by double digits in the opening quarter. The lead grew from 10 to 15 and topped out at 20 before the Lakers slightly stopped the bleeding, getting it down to 18. They were able to stop more of the bleeding, going on an 8-1 run to end the quarter down by 13.
The Lakers woke up and got it within nine to start the second quarter with a nice pass from LeBron to Cam Reddish for the slam. The run disappeared as they began turning the ball over and the Kings took advantage, extending their lead back to double digits.
Reddish missed a layup, but immediately stole the ball after the Kings’ inbounds pass for a layup, then LeBron was able to get a dunk to cut the deficit to six. Unfortunately, every time the Lakers made a nice run, the Kings responded back.
By starting 3 for 3 tonight, LeBron is up to 40% from 3 on the young season.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 16, 2023
Last year, he shot just 32.1% from 3, his lowest mark since 2015-16.
The Lakers found themselves still in the game at the break, trailing 72-59 at halftime.
D’Angelo Russell started heating up in the third, but the Lakers just couldn’t get the stops and the Kings continued to pour on the offense leading by 13 about midway into the quarter. They were up 24 by the end of the third.
The Lakers came out with their starting lineup for the fourth quarter and they went on a 10-0 run. As they kept chipping away and chipping away, the lead dwindled and dwindled. With two minutes left, it was a nine-point game after a Cam Reddish 3-pointer. The white flag was waved after a few Lakers turnovers and the Kings rebounding.
The Lakers couldn’t stop their messy turnovers with 23 tonight. Each turnover sucked the life out of the game.
The Lakers fell back into bad habits tonight. Starting the first quarter with no energy and having to come back each quarter is a constant formula for disaster. They have shown they can start out great and keep it going all game, they need to figure out how to do it consistently, especially on a second game of a back-to-back.
The Lakers will return to In-Season Tournament play on Friday when they travel to Portland. Tip-off is set for 10 p.m. PT with the game on Spectrum.
You can follow Karin on Twitter at @KarinAbcarians.