Close games in the NBA often come down to who has the best player on the court. Unfortunately for the Kings, the Lakers have a guy named LeBron James on their side, and on Tuesday he took over and willed the Lakers to a 122-114 victory.
Sacramento led 96-89 with 8:11 in the game after a strong start in the fourth quarter, and things were looking pretty good. Then, James took things into his own hands, just repeatedly willing his way to the rim and knocking down a couple of long-range shots, and all of a sudden the Kings were losing.
James finished with an average night (for him) of 31 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
The Kings just didn’t have the bodies to throw at James but granted no one in the league really does.
Aside from James’ dominance, another huge reason the Kings lost was the massive turnover discrepancy, as Sacramento turned it over whopping 18 times compared to the five turnovers the Lakers committed.
De’Aaron Fox did his best to give the Kings a chance on Tuesday. Particularly in the first half, Fox was dominant from all spots of the court as he finished with 30 points on an efficient 12-21 shooting. Fox’s uptick in play recently bodes well for a Kings team that needs his star upside.
Buddy Hield had his second hot shooting night in a row going up against the team he was almost traded to this past offseason. Hield shot seven of 13 from three and finished with 26 points.
Another bright spot for the Kings was the play of Davion Mitchell, whose offensive stats don’t necessarily jump off the page. Mitchell had a handful of defensive highlights including a strip of James in the fourth quarter during the Kings’ run. Since coming back from COVID-19 protocols, Mitchell is starting to really round into form.
Now at 16-23, the Kings are pretty much what their record says they are nearing the halfway point of the season.
The Kings return home to face the Atlanta Hawks tomorrow night at Golden One Center.