Recap: Lakers Win Fifth Straight Game With Thrilling Victory Over Kings In Second Of Back-To-Back
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers traveled to take on the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night, looking to stay undefeated in 2023 in the second of a back-to-back.

LeBron James played despite being questionable, and the Lakers kept rolling as they earning their fifth straight victory, beating the Kings 136-134.

The Lakers got off to a nice start, getting stops and playing with pace. Thomas Bryant picked up where he left off in recent weeks, finishing three easy buckets in the paint early. James, Patrick Beverley and Dennis Schroder all connected from deep as L.A. opened up a sizeable lead at 27-18.

Kevin Huerter and Davion Mitchell also hit some 3s for Sacramento so they stayed within striking distance and even tppl a 38-37 lead into the second quarter with the Lakers struggling on the defensive glass.

When L.A. was in danger of losing the momentum, James got going with some nice midrange buckets. The Lakers also locked in defensively, allowing James to get out in transition for an easy dunk to help his team regain the lead.

The Lakers were unhappy with the officiating though as James wasn’t getting some calls and both he and Darvin Ham picked up technicals. While L.A. started to spiral and went down by nine, Schroder and Russell Westbrook hit 3s to stop the bleeding. Neither team could miss from deep with not much defense being played, resulting in a 73-73 tie at halftime.

Bryant went to work on the offensive glass to start the third quarter, which was much-needed with Kings rookie Keegan Murray heating up from deep.

As was the case in the first half, no defense was played by either team as they continued to exchange buckets. Westbrook again made an impact when he came in to close the quarter though, creating open looks for others. Wenyen Gabriel then returned the favor, finding a cutting Westbrook for a layup to force a Kings timeout.

With the Lakers’ big men in foul trouble, Domantas Sabonis started going to work in the paint. In fact, Gabriel fouled out in the third quarter before James beat the buzzer with a layup to tie it at 109 going to the fourth.

The Lakers finally began to take control in the final period with James and Bryant leading the way inside. LeBron finally started getting some calls and Bryant simply could not miss, allowing L.A. to open up a nine-point lead.

When James went to the bench for his final rest though, De’Aaron Fox and Sabonis went on another run to get Sacramento back within two. Bryant came up huge once again with another offensive rebound and putback to end the run.

With the game tied in the final minute, Fox continued to attack the basket for a bucket. James responded with a three-point play with the foul being called on Sabonis, his sixth of the game as the big man was forced to hit the bench.

The Lakers led by one in the final minute when Schroder came up with a massive steal. Westbrook then made a free throw to extend the lead to two, but Fox drained a midrange jumper to tie it with 6.8 seconds to play.

Schroder ended up with the ball and went to the hole, earning two free throws with 3.6 seconds. He made both, and then Fox missed at the buzzer to secure the victory for the Lakers.

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