The Los Angeles Lakers returned home to host the Sacramento Kings on Friday night, looking to build off their last win to close the road trip.
Unfortunately though, they fell to a lackluster Kings team, 142-137, in what was a marathon triple overtime game.
Both teams were slow coming out of the gate, though the Lakers broke the ice after LeBron James found DeAndre Jordan underneath for an easy lay-in. The offensive woes continued for both sides, though James tried to jumpstart things by hitting a pair of jumpers including his first three of the night.
Talen Horton-Tucker checked into the game and instantly drained his first attempt from downtown, though the Lakers were unable to create any separation. In fact, Sacramento reeled off a 7-0 run in the closing minutes of the quarter which left the teams tied 20-20.
After letting Marvin Bagley score in the post, Carmelo Anthony countered with a pair of triples from James to put Los Angeles back up 26-22. James’ playmaking was on full display as he rifled a pass to Wayne Ellington in the corner for another three and found Anthony Davis in the pick-and-roll for an easy dunk.
Malik Monk got the Staples Center crowd going with a couple of dunks in transition, while Davis was able to hit some floaters to keep the Lakers in control. However, another poor finish to the period wiped away their advantage and the two squads went into the half knotted up 43-43.
Like it has been for most of the 2021-22 season, Los Angeles came out of the third quarter gate slow on both ends and quickly found themselves in a 53-47 hole. Head coach Frank Vogel responded by downsizing which opened the floor up for Westbrook and Davis and the team as a whole looked much better on both ends.
Westbrook sparked a quick 8-0 run with an and-one opportunity while Malik Monk found success shooting from distance and attacking the paint. Westbrook and Monk continued to carry the offense and the Lakers took a 78-73 lead into the fourth.
Los Angeles finally saw consistent success shooting the basketball as the bench unit gave the team some breathing room, extending the lead to 13. Despite the run, Sacramento battled back and brought the game within four thanks to their own bench.
Unfortunately, the Laker offense stalled out after failing to convert on a host of jumpers which allowed the Kings to retake the lead after an Alex Len 3-pointer. Monk nailed a crucial three to tie the game at 98-98, and James later found himself free underneath the rim for a layup but later missed a potential game-winning three and the game went into overtime.
James was aggressive trying to score at the basket which led to a few free throws but Buddy Hield answered with an and-one to cut the deficit in half. In the final minute, Hield came up huge for the Kings as he managed to tie the game twice while James missed another game-winning three to send it to double overtime.
Davis was able to convert a ridiculous and-one off a nice feed from Westbrook, though Hield hit another triple to give the Kings a lead. De’Aaron Fox took his turn hitting clutch shots after burying a couple of tough jumpers, but a James layup tied the game again at 124-124. The Kings somehow did not get a shot off on the last possession, forcing yet another extra period.
Sacramento took a quick 129-126 advantage thanks to Marvin Bagley and Hield, though James answered with a difficult runner off the glass. The Kings took their largest lead of the night after a Fox layup and it seemed the team ran out of gas as they could not make up the difference and took home a brutal loss.
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