Lakers lose tough overtime game against Kings

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Lakers lose their first game of a back-to-back in Sacramento.

This probably isn’t ideal for the Lakers.

The Lakers had to rally back yet again. But as they were able to extend the game to an overtime, the Sacramento Kings’ youth, vigor, and spitfire shooting overwhelmed Los Angeles. Kevin Huerter put it away with a clutch three and the Kings won, 132-127. And besides the loss, the reason why this wasn’t ideal was because the Lakers have to play another game on Monday night. Back-to-backs are kind of awful.

The Kings came out early and just kept getting those buckets. While the Lakers didn’t do that bad on the offensive end, the Kings were just on another level in getting those baskets. It was 41-28 after one quarter.

Christian Wood and Anthony Davis carried the Lakers in the second quarter. They were able to whittle the lead down to three before the Kings went on a 10-2 run to boost the lead back to 66-55 by halftime. Taurean Prince made some huge threes in the third quarter and the Lakers were only down by four entering the fourth.

Then it’s like Darvin Ham remembered Rui Hachimura existed. He got fourth period minutes for the first time this season and he immediately responded with 8 points. The Lakers took the lead for the first time. Then LeBron James, who played his first NBA game in this city 20 years earlier (God, that is a long time ago), sank a three-pointer to make it 104-100, Lakers.

L.A. went scoreless for nearly four minutes as the Kings scored 10 unanswered. The Lakers did work their way back and a tip dunk by Davis tied it at 113. But Gabe Vincent didn’t make the best call when he fouled De’Aaron Fox in the backcourt. After the Fox foul shots, LeBron made an easy lay-up to tie the game at 115. Fox was able to draw two on the next possession and got Keegan Murray an open three. Murray, however, missed the shot and they went five more minutes.

Kings were down an injured Fox (ankle) and Domantas Sabonis (fouled out) in overtime but Malik Monk took control. His perimeter shooting really killed the Lakers. And with the Lakers down, 127-125, with under a minute left, Kevin Huerter made a three-pointer and that was pretty much it.

I can’t say I expected the Lakers to win this game; the Sacramento Kings are a really good team. But the Lakers were right there to take the W and it was frustrating to watch what was transpiring. The Lakers were falling for fakes. They were giving too much space. They weren’t physical enough against the Kings. And they missed so many open shots, whether it’s a Taurean Prince three or an Anthony Davis bunny. They were missing some free throws early on, too. So many fundamental things they weren’t really executing.

The rotations made by Darvin Ham were even more head-scratching. At least, for me, I believe in staying on what’s working. Christian Wood barely saw minutes after his excellent second quarter. Rui Hachimura was cooking early in the fourth but once he went out, he never went back in again. And it also could’ve helped to have fresh legs during the fourth quarter and overtime.

Sacramento stayed with their profile. Buckets, buckets, buckets. And they killed the Lakers on timely second chance points. While the Lakers do have Anthony Davis, the Kings weren’t afraid to attack the paint.

Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 30 points, 16 rebounds, and three blocks. Hard to blame him for anything. I feel like that LeBron minutes restriction rule is out the window; he played 39 minutes on his way to 27-15-8. Taurean Prince put in 20 points as he went 5 for 13 (.385) from three. D’Angelo Russell had some moments as he contributed with 17 points and 9 assists. Rui Hachimura and Christian Wood each put in 11 points in limited minutes. Austin Reaves really struggled on Sunday, going 1 for 12 (.083) and scoring five points.

De’Aaron Fox scored 37 points as he continues to hurt the Lakers. Malik Monk scored 11 of his 22 points in overtime and sophomore Keegan Murray put in 17. Domantas Sabonis had 12 points and 15 boards.

The Lakers don’t have much time to wallow about this as they have a game back in Los Angeles on Monday night against the Orlando Magic. We’ll see how they handle the minutes of the stars here as that was an exhausting game. At the very least, that bad taste of that loss can be erased with a win on Monday.