In their final game of 2018, Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers are looking for redemption against De’Aaron Fox and the Sacramento Kings.
Following the Christmas Day win over the Golden State Warriors, the Lakers lost a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter and eventually the game as Bogdan Bogdanovic made a game-winning three at the buzzer.
Without LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, the Lakers young core saw increased roles and took advantage of the opportunity for 3.5 quarters. Along with Ball’s near triple-double, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma combined for 55 points.
As the Lakers heavily rely on James to close out games, the young core found themselves in unfamiliar territory. With the Kings making one final run, Ingram’s isolation plays resulted in turnovers and the Lakers complained to referees instead of running back on defense.
With the Lakers able to control these two aspects, head coach Luke Walton also wants them to focus on Iman Shumpert, who made a career-high six 3-pointers. “Give them credit for knocking them down,” Walton said at shootaround.
“I thought we did a really nice job on Buddy Hield. Maybe too much of our focus was there, but Shump, on the scouting report, he was not supposed to get open looks. We know he’s capable of doing that, so it’s us just executing that better and more efficiently.”
Los Angeles Lakers (20-16) vs. Sacramento Kings (19-16)
6:30 P.M. PT, Dec. 30, 2018
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN)/1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Lonzo Ball
SG: Josh Hart
SF: Brandon Ingram
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: Ivica Zubac
Key Reserves: Tyson Chandler, Lance Stephenson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Projected Kings Starting Lineup:
PG: De’Aaron Fox
SG: Buddy Hield
SF: Iman Shumpert
PF: Nemanja Bjelica
C: Willie Cauley-Stein
Key Reserves: Justin Jackson, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Harry Giles, Kosta Koufos
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