Three days after squandering a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter, the Los Angeles Lakers earned some revenge with a 121-114 win over the Sacramento Kings. Defense was at a premium as neither team shied away from firing three-point shots.
Josh Hart had his stroke working early, which led to a career-high 17 points in a single half. Hart was among the Lakers who benefitted from Brandon Ingram successfully playing the role of distributor.
That he managed to do so effectively was all the more important considering Lonzo Ball was a bit slow out of the gate. Despite a strong start that had them ahead after the first quarter, it was the Kings who went on a 10-2 run to start the second.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope helped the Lakers remain within striking distance as they went into halftime facing a manageable 68-64 deficit. That they only trailed by four points was a mild surprise as the Kings shot 59 percent through the first two quarters.
Sacramento began to pull away in the third but couldn’t completely take hold of the game because the Lakers mounted a 12-0 run to recapture the lead. Caldwell-Pope remained key to the Lakers’ offense but it was a missed slam dunk on his steal in the fourth quarter that was costly.
Rather than giving the Lakers a 102-101 lead, the Kings went on to create some breathing room. But just like the Lakers at Golden 1 Center last week, the Kings failed to protect a lead. Whereas Iman Shumpert was a reliable threat from deep in the first meeting, he struggled Sunday night and it allowed L.A. to get back into the game.
Ingram’s midrange jumper tied it, and he followed that on the next possession with a go-ahead 3-pointer. Hart’s driving layup answered a basket from the Kings, and Caldwell-Pope’s free throws iced the game for the Lakers.
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