Before heading to Las Vegas, the Los Angeles Lakers took on the Sacramento Kings in the final game of the California Classic Summer League at the Chase Center in San Francisco.
Both the Lakers and Kings handily beat the Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat in the first two games, so this one served as the de facto championship game. While it was a close game throughout, the Lakers fell just short, losing to the Kings 82-75.
The Lakers were without perhaps their best player from the first two games in this one as center Jay Huff was forced to sit out due to health and safety protocols. Mac McClung also sat out this game, although the Lakers did not report any sort of injury for him.
Sacha Killeya-Jones got the start in Huff’s place and made the most of it early, scoring five quick points.
While the Lakers missed Huff early on the defensive end, Vitto Brown helped pick up the slack offensively by knocking down a pair of threes, while Paris Bass did his part with four first-quarter points.
Kings guard Jared Rhoden beat the buzzer with a nice mid-range shot though so the Lakers found themselves trailing 24-22 after one quarter.
Javante McCoy, who didn’t get a ton of playing time in the Lakers’ first two games, got a chance in this one and knocked down his first four shots to score 11 first-half points to lead all scorers.
After a first half that was filled with back and forths, the Lakers and Kings went into the halftime locker room tied at 43.
The only lottery pick in this game was Keegan Murray, who the Kings picked fourth overall in 2022, and he started to show that talent in the third quarter by scoring in a variety of ways to give his team the first double-digit lead of the game.
Murray was up to 20 points at the end of the third quarter with the Kings leading 65-54.
The Lakers began the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run to make it a game, although the Kings answered with a three to work their lead back to eight. Mason Jones, who struggled from the field for most of the game, came back down and hit a circus three and then the Lakers had a steal and transition layup to get within three.
Brown continued his hot shooting for the Lakers by draining another three, and then Bass had a nice reverse layup to help the Lakers regain the lead.
Unfortunately though, the Lakers went cold to finish out the game, while Murray continued to get whatever he wanted on the offensive end to seal the victory for the Kings after a 14-2 run to close it out.
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