Lakers couldn’t survive hot shooting from Kings, 130-120

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The Lakers are 0-3 against Sacramento this season.

LOS ANGELES — The Lakers looked great early. But it all quickly came crashing down. Sacramento shot the lights out as the Lakers couldn’t survive the fire the Kings lit. The Kings defeated the Lakers, 130-120.

Well, I said the Lakers needed to get off to a better start and, boy, did they ever. They were hitting in all cylinders for about the first 8 minutes of the game, getting off to a 30-13 start. But Sacramento is such a talented offensive team as they closed the quarter with 10 unanswered points. Lakers lead, 37-28, after the first period.

The Kings continued their onslaught in the second period. They would eventually take the lead as Malik Monk and company scorched the nets. Sacramento made 14 straight shots as they turned the game upside down. It was a 44-20 second period as the Kings took a 72-57 lead into the break.

From there, the Kings raised the lead to 22. LeBron would score 7 points in that 10-0 run that the Lakers would counter with but Malik Monk silenced the run with a three. Still, the Lakers were able to cut it down to a 104-92 deficit as the game looked doable going into the fourth.

Sacramento quickly doused the fire as Monk helped boost the lead to 21. That was pretty much it; the Lakers did cut it down to 10 to make it respectable but the Lakers were just dominated from four minutes left in the first on.

At some point, the Kings reached 60 percent shooting from the field (ended at .557). But they couldn’t stop the Wildcat duo that is De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. Fox has always presented problems for the Lakers but Wednesday night was just another gear.

The Lakers’ body language looked bad. While it’s not hard to blame them for that, the Kings absolutely demoralized them with 14 straight made shots in the second quarter. Taking advantage of that, Sacramento outboarded the Lakers by 12. I would be more alive, too, if I was part of that team that made so many shots in a row like that.

LeBron James would leave with a few minutes left in the game. He feels overworked as he just wasn’t getting enough from his teammates. It’s admirable what he’s doing but… he’s also the oldest player in the league. The other Lakers simply need to do more.

It’s too bad that the Lakers couldn’t keep the momentum going after those first 8 minutes. It’s hard to hold a Kings team down that is incredible on the offensive end.

Lakers were led by LeBron, who went for 31 points and 13 assists. L.A. wasted a Rui Hachimura performance; he had 29 points. Austin Reaves finished with 18 while Anthony Davis did not have a great offensive game (14 points, 11 rebounds). I had mentioned in the preview that the Kings held him to 9 points (his lowest of the season) in their previous match-up. It’s one thing for him to not be there, scoring-wise, but it’s another for him to not have an impact on the defensive end.

De’Aaron Fox tied his career-high with 44 points to lead the Kings. Domantas Sabonis had a triple-double (16-20-12!). And Malik Monk scored 12 of his 26 points in the first 5 minutes of the second period. That was definitely the turning point of that contest.

The Lakers failed to gain ground as they went down to 34-30 and 2.5 games behind the Kings. And it doesn’t get any easier as the Lakers draw the Bucks on Friday. They might have to do it without LeBron James, too.