The Sacramento Kings defeated the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers 123-120 Wednesday night at home.
Buddy Hield scored a game-high 29 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 6 assists. De'Aaron Fox fouled out late in the fourth quarter on a very questionable call, but Harrison Barnes took it upon himself to take the crunch-time shot.
This game was a really competitive game when it really had no business being so since the Lakers were without LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The Lakers are deep, but the Kings roster in general is better than a three-point win against them.
The Kings opened the first quarter shining a spotlight on their poor defense. The Lakers had an easy time scoring and with just over five minutes to go in the first had the Kings in a 10-point hole. A 12-0 run by the Lakers had the Kings looking like a team that was completely checked out no intensity, no purpose, no identity. After one quarter, the Kings were down 31-23 and let the Lakers shoot 60 percent from the field and 60 percent from three. Meanwhile, the Kings went 40 percent from the field and 16 percent from three.
In the second quarter, Montrezl Harrell started things off by punishing the Kings in the ways he can, but slowly Sacramento began to put things together. This was mainly a result of Buddy Hield's shots dropping. Buddy knocked down 4 of 6 from three in the first half. A Kings 16-4 run allowed them to tie the game with 6:24 left in the second at 43. Buddy looked like the Buddy we expected to see more of this season and the Kings looked like the better team in the second quarter because well, their roster is better than what the Lakers rolled out with Wednesday night so that should be the case.
The Kings had 19 assists at the half to the Lakers 10. De'Aaron Fox tallied 5 of those assists. Harrell had 14 points at the half and so did Kyle Kuzma. The Kings were led by Hield's 16 and Richaun Holmes' 10.
Harrison Barnes began the second half strong, helping to pull the Kings up 69-61. The Lakers quickly erased that lead and got it back to within 69-68. The third quarter was a pretty competitive quarter with both teams playing pretty evenly. The Lakers began to gain a slight edge when Fox left the floor for a rest though. He returned and the Kings tied it at 82.
The Lakers did a decent job of collapsing on Fox when he drove to the lane and after winning the second quarter 40-30, the Lakers won the third quarter 27-24 and took a one-point lead into the fourth. Kuzma was up to 22 points and 9 rebounds, while Harrell had tallied 18 points and 9 rebounds.
The fourth quarter began with the Lakers and Kings largely trading baskets. This turned into a pretty good game in the second half. At 8 minutes left, the Kings maintained a one-point lead. The Kings went on a little run in the middle of the fourth and built up an eight-point lead with Fox starting to take over a little.
With two minutes left in the game the Lakers tied the game at 115. About a minute passed without a basket being scored, until Fox drained a foul-line jumper. Dennis Schroder responded with a driving layup that resulted in an And-1. With the Kings down 1, Fox drove to the lane and scored to put the Kings back up one with 50 seconds left. With 45 seconds left the Lakers refs showed up and Fox was called for his sixth foul for not touching Schroder. Schroder gave the Lakers a one-point lead at the line.
With Fox on the bench Barnes drove right to the lane and scored on a beautiful reverse layup. Kings up 1. Lakers didn't call a timeout and the Lakers couldn't knock down a shot. The Kings inbounded with 1.3 seconds left and the Lakers sent Barnes to the line. He hit both of them to put the Kings up three. (Shout out to Harrison who continues to be such a great veteran for this team.) With 1.3 seconds left the Lakers passed in to Kuzma who missed a three.
Kings win 123-120.
- The Kings went with an eight-man rotation again with Nemanja Bjelica, Cory Joseph and DaQuan Jeffries off the bench.
- The Kings had six players in double digits Bagley, Barnes, Holmes, Fox, Hield and Joseph.
- Fox finished with 23 points, 8 assists and 3 steals, but did have 6 fouls and 7 turnovers.
- Kuzma finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds. Schroder poured in 28 points and 9 assists.
- The Kings finished 48 percent from three and 60 percent from the field. And they went 15-19 from the free throw line.
The Kings take on the Blazers tomorrow at 7 p.m.