On Friday, the Los Angeles Lakers finally saw their three All-Stars, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Andre Drummond, on the court together after the four-time NBA champion’s return.
But the embarrassing 110-106 loss to the undermanned Sacramento Kings spoiled the debut of the team’s new power lineup.
L.A. started the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead over Sacramento, who played without De’Aaron Fox and Harrison Barnes. But the reigning NBA champions made just six field goals in the last 12 minutes of the game, letting the Kings outscore them 32-18 and leave Staples Center with a win.
The defeat disappointed head coach Frank Vogel, but he thought his three stars fared well in the formation’s first test. “I’m very encouraged with what that looked like,” he said. “There was a lot of good sequences with the three of those guys. Rhythm and timing was way off, them getting used to each other is going to take time, it’s going to take an adjustment period.
“Very disappointed in the loss but encouraged by what those three are going to look like together.”
James, Davis and Drummond all ended the night in double digits. James was on a triple-double watch in his return with 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while Davis chipped in a team-high 22 points.
Drummond thought the Lakers benefited from having James and Davis back on both ends of the court. But he acknowledged the new lineup needs to clock in more minutes to limit costly errors, which allowed the Kings to snatch the win away from L.A.’s hands last night. “I think defensively we allowed them to make shots,” Drummond said.
“I think we missed a couple of assignments defensively. They made a lot of tough shots down the stretch, too. Stuff we couldn’t control well. … It’s just a chemistry thing. We’re going to figure it out. Nothing that we should be too worried about. It’s going to take a little bit of time, but we’ll be fine.”
James’ body responded well to return against Kings
James came back on Friday after missing 20 straight games due to the injury.
But the 36-year-old forward said he felt good on the floor despite some tightness in the ankle he had nursed for a month and a half. “Obviously it’s just doing different movements, different things that I haven’t done obviously in a game situation in six weeks,” he said.
“So I think as the games go on that will continue to improve. But I came out unscathed and pretty good so it’s a good start.”
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