Although it came at the expense of their NBA Draft Lottery odds, the Los Angeles Lakers snapped a season-high-tying five-game losing streak with a 111-106 win over the Sacramento Kings, who themselves may soon be eliminated from the playoffs.
LeBron James helped the team get off to a strong start but they still trailed in the early stages of the first quarter. The Lakers struggled from the floor for a second consecutive game and they were turnover prone.
Yet, they still held a lead at the end of the first quarter in large part to holding the Kings to 27.6 percent shooting. L.A. opened second quarter on a 9-0 run to take their biggest lead at 31-20.
Lance Stephenson helped provide a spark off the bench but rather than continue to build on their momentum, the Lakers allowed the Kings to eventually pull even behind a 14-2 stretch.
Although the game of runs allowed Sacramento to take a 49-48 lead into halftime, the Lakers opened the third quarter by scoring 14 unanswered points. Kyle Kuzma kept the pressure on the Kings, even doing so defensively with a chase-down block on Buddy Hield.
Behind 7-for-8 shooting, Kuzma scored 21 points in the third quarter to help the Lakers lead by as many as 17. Given the trend and flow of the game, it was natural for that lead to evaporate.
And though the Kings got to within a basket of the Lakers midway through the fourth quarter, James was taken out at 30 minutes on the night. Though, his stay on the bench lasted all of one minute.
James helped draw attention and create for Alex Caruso, whose four consecutive points created some breathing room. James finished with his eighth triple-double of the season, and despite the Lakers turning the ball over on multiple possessions in the final minutes, they hung on for a win.