The regular season finale was finally upon the Lakers as they returned home to host the Sacramento Kings in the final game of the year at Staples Center. After falling in Sacramento on Monday, the Lakers hoped to return the favor in the rematch.
As has been the case recently, the Lakers were extremely short-handed as Jordan Clarkson was unavailable for the game after spraining his ankle on Monday. That left the Lakers with only Jabari Brown and Vander Blue as backcourt options. Ryan Kelly was again the team’s only option at small forward as well.
The Kings were also short-handed again as DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, and Darren Collison were all out for the finale. The Lakers were hoping to end their season on a high note after another disappointing year.
Ryan Kelly hit Tarik Black for a layup and Jason Thompson hit a short jumper as the teams were tied at two early. Ray McCallum hit Ben McLemore for a huge alley-oop, but baskets from Jordan Hill and Vander Blue put the Lakers ahead 6-5. The Kings would push ahead 15-9 after a three from Nik Stauskas and a McCallum transition dunk. A McLemore jumper gave the Kings a six point lead midway through the quarter. The Kings continued their run, going up 21-10 after another McCallum dunk before Ryan Kelly hit a three to make it 21-13. McLemore answered with a three of his own and the Kings went back up 11 after a Thompson layup. Vander Blue began to bring the Lakers back within striking distance with five straight points, but the Kings got a steal and lob to Derrick Williams to maintain a 10-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
Kelly hit the first shot of the quarter and a three-pointer to get the Lakers going, but the Kings continued their offensive pace in keeping a double-digit lead. A three-point play from Blue cut it to 10, but Williams got an easy layup to push the lead back to 12. Boozer hit a couple of baskets and Davis got a basket, but the Kings matched the Lakers every time in keeping their 12-point lead. The Lakers defense continued to struggle and the Kings took advantage, pushing the lead out to 18 after a David Stockton layup. Both teams traded baskets as the Lakers were unable to significantly cut the deficit, remaining behind by 17 with under two minutes remaining in the half. Hill and Blue continued to push the offense as they were able to get the deficit down to 14 at the half, 67-53.
Both teams started off strong getting a couple of baskets and Black committed a flagrant 1 foul on McCallum after accidentally elbowing him in the face. Brown would hit a three, but the Kings would come right back again and a steal and McCallum layup gave Sacramento their biggest lead of the night at 19 points. The Lakers were able to cut the lead down to 14, but Sacramento again responded and a Stauskas three put them right back ahead at 19 midway through the third. Brown brought the Lakers back into the game with 10 straight but a massive Derrick Williams dunk kept Sacramento ahead by 11. The Lakers were unable to cut the deficit any closer as baskets from Landry and McCallum increased the Kings lead. Brown hit a jumper but McCallum matched with a runner to close out the quarter as Sacramento remained ahead by 19, 96-77.
Both offenses started off slow as it took two minutes before a basket was finally made and it came courtesy of a Stockton three-pointer. Brown hit a basket, but the Lakers remained down by 21. Brown got another basket, but Ryan Hollins hit a jumper as the lead remained 21. Blue continued a solid outing by hitting a jumper, but Hollins got an easy putback slam. Back-to-back threes from Stauskas and McLemore put the Kings up 26 as time wound down on the Lakers season finale. Sacramento continued to push the lead out, but one positive came in the form of Jabari Brown who became the third Laker this season to score 30 points in a game this season joining Kobe and Jordan Clarkson. Robert Sacre scored the final points of the Lakers season as they fell 122-99.
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