Heading into Saturday’s game against the Sacramento Kings, the Los Angeles Lakers stressed the importance of playing strong transition defense and containing a fast-pace offense. They allowed 25 fast-break points but held the Kings 32 points below their season average in a 101-86 win.
It also represented Sacramento’s lowest scoring game of the season. For the Lakers, it was their first time this season holding an opponent to fewer than 100 points.
Despite enduring some offensive struggles themselves, the Lakers nearly led wire to wire. LeBron James scored a game-high 25 points to go along with 7 rebounds.
Tyson Chandler had another strong performance in what was just his second game with the Lakers, hauling down 12 rebounds to tie with Willie Cauley-Stein for most on the night.
Los Angeles had six players score in double-figures, including Kentavious Caldwell-Pope chipping in 11 points off the bench. It was a bit of a breakout performance for him, though Caldwell-Pope only went 2-for-7 from behind the arc.
The Lakers scored 20 points off the Kings’ 19 turnovers, and pounded them in the paint, 52-38. With James sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter, the Lakers pushed their lead to 20 points.
The Kings did manage to respond with an 10-0 run but never drew any closer. De’Aaron Fox led Sacramento with 21 points, though only four of those came in the second half.