The Los Angeles Lakers continue their preseason session as they faced the Sacramento Kings in Anaheim’s Honda Center. They won their second straight game by defeating said Kings team, 109-101.
Jarred Vanderbilt (heel) and Cam Reddish (ankle) were absent again; they didn’t play in Monday’s win over the Nets. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Austin Reaves also sat out Wednesday’s contest.
So the five in the starting slots were D’Angelo Russell, Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince, Rui Hachimura, and Jaxson Hayes.
Like I said in the previous game, this is hard to completely break down because it’s the preseason so here are a few takeaways from Wednesday.
D’Angelo Russell probably cannot wait for the season to start. He continues to score at will and make great passes to his teammates. He’s playing like it’s March already. The madness! Taurean Prince has been a solid 3-and-D dude. He’s a veteran in the league so he can be trusted to do his role. It’s nice to see Gabe Vincent make some shots as he struggled a bit with his shot in the first two games. Still, I would love to see him get it going in the regular campaign.
Rui Hachimura had a bit of a one-track mind in this game as he kept looking for his shot. It’s good to be aggressive but not blindly aggressive where he just puts it up whenever he touches the ball. And I loved the activity of Jaxson Hayes. I hope he can stay within himself on both ends.
Christian Wood can definitely score; with such a deep team, I hope he finds a perfect role in this team. Remember that he was pretty much the second option in Dallas before the Kyrie Irving trade so we know he’s skilled; we just hope that he buys into what coach Darvin Ham gives him. Max Christie didn’t shoot well tonight but the poise continues to be there. The most intriguing player for me has been Maxwell Lewis. He seems to be there at the right place at the right time. We also got good minutes from Jalen Hood-Schifino and Colin Castleton.
As for the game itself, Taurean Prince and D’Angelo combined to make three straight three-pointers to spur an 11-0 run in the third quarter. And then the Lakers scored 10 straight that spanned the third and fourth to essentially put the game away. L.A. went only 10 for 30 (.333) from three but after seeing that game against Brooklyn, that three-point shot looks more comfortable with the team.
I think what’s even more encouraging is that they did this against the Kings regulars; they had everyone available. Yes, it’s preseason but confidence can go a long way with the youngsters. Again, the stars didn’t play so the supporting cast found out that, yes, they can stay with these teams.
D’Angelo Russell led the Lakers with 21 points and 8 assists. Gabe Vincent broke out with 18 while Taurean Prince, Rui Hachimura, and Christian Wood each scored 13 points. As for the Kings, De’Aaron Fox scored 18 while veteran Harrison Barnes put in 15. The Lakers did have 20 turnovers so they gotta clean that up, even if it’s preseason. They can’t fall into bad habits like that.
The Lakers will play next on Friday and they will see the Golden State Warriors again. The Warriors defeated them last Friday in their first preseason match-up so the Lakers have a chance to get back at them.
Lakers have three games left to put it all together before the regular campaign starts in 13 nights.