Lakers play Kings for fourth and last time this season

Kings lead their season series, two games to one.

The Lakers are playing the fourth of five games at home. They are 1-2 in this stand thus far and have a chance to even out the record by playing a familiar foe, the Sacramento Kings.

They’ve gone against the Kings three times this season. The Lakers lost the first two before edging them out in Sacramento on January 7th.

Sacramento has taken advantage of a soft schedule since losing to the Lakers as they have won four straight games. They have shot up to fourth in the West and are only half a game behind the #3 seed, the injury-riddled New Orleans Pelicans. This could very well be the year they break that playoff drought, which is the longest in NBA history (16 years!).

Their last match-up in Sacramento was as close as it got. Sacramento led by one after the first quarter and the second and third periods ended up with tied scores. The Lakers eventually won by two points. LeBron James scored 37 in that game while Thomas Bryant had a season-high 29 and Dennis Schröder put in 27. But while we know what LeBron does, the last few games haven’t been kind to Bryant and Schröder. With Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves, and Lonnie Walker IV still out, it is crucial that those two play well to have a chance against the heavy firepower of the Sacramento Kings.

It’s gonna be hard to stop De’Aaron Fox, who went for 34 points in the Jan. 7 game. Domantas Sabonis is a double-double machine while Kevin Huerter and Keegan Murray continue to shoot the lights out from the perimeter. The Lakers dominated the paint (70-48) while the Kings made five more three-pointers in their match-up 11 days ago. But again, the game was so close the entire time; neither team led by double digits.

It was ridiculous that the Lakers set a franchise record for fewest turnovers in a game (two) against Houston last Monday. I don’t think they’ll replicate that again (and really, for a long time) but turnovers had been a problem for the Lakers recently so they’ll have to do their best to take care of the ball. We also can’t expect LeBron James (who is in his 20th season, in case you need a reminder) to keep putting in heavy performances (48 points against Houston). He really needs all the help he can get.

Los Angeles! Sacramento! I don’t think I’ve been this excited for a Lakers/Kings game since their 7-game series in 2002 (thanks, Baha Men!). Man, that is a long time ago. I’m sure Kings fans have waited for the day where their team is finally relevant and good.

And rest assured, this game is going to be good.

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