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Kings 86, Lakers 99: This game was uglier than Lonzo Ball’s jumpshot

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Not even a vintage Vince Carter dunk could save this one.

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

If time is money, I think a lot of basketball fans in California should be asking for a refund. This was one ugly game of basketball, filled with turnovers, airballs, bricks and worst of all, the Lakers winning.

After playing hard against the San Antonio Spurs Monday night, the Kings came out lethargic and unable to make a basket, allowing the Lakers to get out to a 24 to 6 lead in just over 6 minutes. Amazingly, the Kings were able to come back and cut the lead to just 4 by the time the first quarter ended thanks to an energy injection from Bogdan Bogdanovic, and they even managed to take the lead as the game went on.

But despite taking an 8 point lead into the third quarter, the Kings gave up an even bigger run to Los Angeles, sparked by Brook Lopez, who nailed three threes in a row. Lopez ended up scoring 18 points in just 22 minutes, going 5 for 8 from downtown. The Kings were never able to recover after that, and the fourth quarter was especially painful, as both teams struggled to score with the Kings scoring just 12 points and the Lakers not doing much better at 15.

The Kings starters really hurt the team on both ends. Willie Cauley-Stein had his worst game in a while scoring just 8 point on 3-10 shooting and playing some olé defense on Julius Randle and Kyle Kuzma. Zach Randolph was even worse, allowing Brook Lopez or whoever he was guarding to torch him, and killing the team offensively by demanding shots and not making them. Randolph finished with just 7 points on an abysmal 2-12 from the field.

De’Aaron Fox was the only Kings player who could score early on, scoring 8 of Sacramento’s first 11 points. He finished with 15 points, including 3-5 from three, but finished just 6-16 overall. Buddy Hield added 13 points and inexplicably didn’t take a single shot until there was just one minute left in the half. And then he scored 8 points in that final minute. Hield is the team’s best shooter, and when the team is struggling to score like it was, he needs to be more involved and the team needs to run more plays for him.

Bogdanovic, as mentioned previously, was a real bright spot in an otherwise abysmal performance. He tied his career-high with 19 points and also had 4 assists to no turnovers. The Kings as a team had more turnovers (16) than assists (15), and the 34.5% from the field was the lowest of the season, beating the previous season-worst of 35.2% on November 15th against Atlanta.

The Kings were able to stay in the game despite poor shooting and allowing the Lakers to shoot 48.1% because the Lakers were coughing the ball up at an even higher rate, with 25 turnovers (they did have 30 assists though). But by the end of the game, Sacramento’s inability to generate any consistent offense proved to be to big of a hurdle to overcome.

For the opponent’s perspective, visit Silver Screen and Roll.

Random Observations:

  • Garrett Temple is trying to do way too much right now, AND he’s in the midst of a shooting slump. Hopefully when Hill and/or Mason come back he can fit back in to his more usual role and return to some consistency.
  • Kosta Koufos had an underrated night with 6 points and 15 rebounds.
  • Vince Carter tried to throw down three posters. He was fouled on the first two and he finally nailed the third one. He also saved at least three baskets with timely slapaways.
  • Skal really struggled to defend in this game. He’s really got to improve his strength and awareness because he just looks lost out there right now.