De’Aaron Fox and the youngsters had their moments, but the Champs shot just well enough to win 112 to 96 and avoid losing a third game this season to the tanking Sacramento Kings.
Fox (15 points, 8 assists, 1 turnover, 6 of 11 FG) and Buddy Hield (17 points, 4 assists,4 threes) led the charge, while Bogdan Bogdanovic added 12 points and 4 assists. Fox had 10 points and four assists in the first quarter, including three beautiful off-the-bounce jumpers, but let off the gas in the second half as the Kings 11-man rotation failed to consistently generate anything beyond energy. Superdude Jack Cooley dominated his way to 7 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists.
The injury-rattled Warriors were reintegrating Klay Thompson (25 points, 10 of 19 FG), Kevin Durant (27/10/5), and Draymond Green (8 points, 9 boards, 7 assists), who all missed time over the past month and need to prepare for postseason time without Steph Curry (ankle).
The lowpoint of the game came at the end of the third when Patrick McCaw crashed hard onto the court after getting upended by Vince Carter under the basket. McCaw was taken off on a stretcher for precaution, and the two teams shared a group huddle at midcourt.
The Lonzo-less Lakers host the Kings tomorrow for an evening match-up that, for the third time this year, won’t feature the rival-rookie lineup of Fox and Ball.