The Los Angeles Lakers have made a habit of falling into big deficits this season, and though they’ve managed to claw their way to some come-from-behind victories, it amounted to a loss Wednesday night against the Sacramento Kings.
The Lakers trailed by as many as 19 points, during which time they never pulled any closer than seven points. Sacramento seemingly had an answer for each run Los Angeles made. While they went into the game averaging an NBA-worst 94.3 points per game, the Kings put 113 points on the Lakers and their fourth-rated defense.
Willie Cauley-Stein, who scored a season-high 26 points, and Zach Randolph’s 22 points, also a season high, led a balanced Kings attack.
Brook Lopez felt the Lakers lacked the requisite defensive effort for much of the game, and added the loss was more a byproduct of their play than anything the Kings did particularly well, as seen on Spectrum SportsNet:
“We just couldn’t get over the hump. … I don’t think it was for lack of effort or anything. It was nothing they did, it’s completely on us. I think for the vast majority of the game we just didn’t show up on the defensive end. It’s something we can control, and have been great at for the majority of the season. It just wasn’t there tonight.”
Further indication of something left to be desired on defense, the Lakers were out-rebounded 44-32, and allowed the Kings to pull down 10 offensive boards. Sacramento began the night as the worst rebounding team in the NBA.
The loss snapped the Lakers’ modest two-game winning streak. For his part, Lopez scored just four points and only grabbed one rebound in 17 minutes. He missed both of his 3-point attempts, and is now a combined 0-for-6 from behind the arc in the past two games.
The Lakers now have four days off before returning to the court in a designated road game against the Clippers on Monday.