The Los Angeles Lakers fell into a 12-point deficit but squandered a double-digit lead themselves in a 117-116 loss to the Sacramento Kings. Bogdan Bogdanovic drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Kings a comeback win.
LeBron James (strained groin), Rajon Rondo (sprained right ring finger) and JaVale McGee (illness) all missed the game.A young Lakers lineup struggled to find their sea legs early, which combined with the Kings making their first six baskets, amounted to falling behind.
But Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma combined to shoulder the offensive load and lead the comeback effort.
Four of five Lakers starters — Ball, Josh Hart, Ingram and Kuzma — scored in double-figures. So too did Lance Stephenson off the bench. Ball also finished with a season-high 12 assists en route to nearly recording a second triple-double. He appeared to have it, but a rebound was taken away after the game went final.
Ball had 5 assists in the first quarter and was particularly effective behind the arc, where he knocked down three attempts. The Lakers used a 14-0 run late in the first quarter to take a 34-30 lead.
Ingram remained in at point guard with the bench unit to start the second quarter. It was largely a see-saw affair, but L.A. again closed well, with a 17-7 stretch propelling them to a 67-61 lead at halftime.
Sacramento opened the third quarter well, trimming their deficit to one point. After starting the quarter 1-for-7 from the field, the Lakers made nine of their next 13 attempts. That played a factor in continuing the game’s trend as they closed out the quarter well.
It proved key as the Kings entered play as the top-scoring team in the fourth quarter at 29.5 points per game. They surpassed the average and mounted a 13-2 run that cut the Lakers’ lead to just four points and later got to within a single point with 2:49 remaining.
As both teams missed shots at the rim, Ball took the rebound and pushed the ball up the court for a fast-break layup. It came at somewhat of a cost however, as he experienced cramps in his left calf for a second time on the night and he didn’t return.
When Kuzma’s drive to the basket again put the Lakers ahead by three, he offset it by committing a foul on Justin Jackson’s 3-point attempt and the free throws tied the game. Kuzma atoned for his error on the next possession by draining a go-ahead 3-pointer over Jackson.
An odd sequence that saw the Kings miss two point-blank layups forced them into an intentional foul situation, which Ingram only managed to split his attempts. That was costly as it led to Bogdanovic capping off his big fourth quarter with a buzzer-beater over Tyson Chandler.
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