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Five takeaways from Kings 116-111 win over Lakers

Sacramento wins fifth straight in a crucial victory over the Los Angeles.

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

No Domas...no problem, as the “LIGHT THE BEAM” chants rained down in enemy territory. The Sacramento Kings were able to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers on the road 116-111 to move into the third seed in the Western Conference on the heels of a five game win streak. The last time the Kings were performing this well over halfway into the season, I was in kindergarden (‘03-’04...ooof).

There were many questions about how the Kings would perform without the help of Domantas Sabonis — and more importantly Matthew Dellavedova — due to the impact he has in every single facet of their nightly gameplan. Though they played against a below average team, it was a great chance to how the team would perform in this situation.

Here are five takeaways from the game:

Things looked rough without Domas

When the game first started, I was very nervous. The Kings usually struggle to find consistent big man play off the bench. But in this game they would have to manage having potential inconsistency from the starting big as well. At the beginning, things looked rough.

The Lakers shot out to an early 14-point lead and 39 first quarter points, thanks to the Kings’ horrendous three-point shooting, some bad turnovers and some matador defense. However, the Kings were able to get focused and turn things around in the second. Their defense showed up and held the Lakers to 21 second quarter points and De’Aaron Fox lead their offense to 33 second quarter points and a halftime lead.

Without Sabonis, the Kings lose their best rebounder, their best facilitator and a ton of offense in general. He is irreplaceable. However, the Kings showed they can adjust and still get it done.

Fox turned it on early, knew he had to step it up

We all know the fourth quarter is Foxy time, when De’Aaron kicks it into high gear and is seemingly unguardable. But that’s usually with Sabonis in the lineup and an offense that can make magic happen even without him touching the ball. Tonight, he played like a true leader and turned it on from the get go to earn himself 20 first-half points. He posted his 11th 30-point game of the season and played with the aggression and skill we all fell in love with back in 2017. Fox has really come into his own as a leader this year.

Holmes sweet Holmes

Richaun Holmes got his first start of the season this game and played his ass off. Not only did he garner 16 points and 11 boards while shooting 100 percent from the field and the stripe, but he also was gifted the defensive player of the game chain by Mike Brown.

Holmes not only looked ready for the moment — a consistent theme for this roster under Mike Brown — but he looked like he had something to prove. He played smart and he played with passion. Holmes is the definition of grit and every good team needs some of that.

Keegan Murray steps up to Mike Brown’s challenge

Brown recently said in a press conference that he has challenged Murray to become more than just a shooter and find a way to impact the game if his shot were to not fall that night. Murray answered that challenge in this game and tied his season high with 10 rebounds, three of them on offense. Similar to how Holmes said everyone knew they had to step up with Domas out, Keegan decided to help on the boards. The rook is evolving at just the right time.

Inconsistent scoring off the bench

Some nights the Kings bench looks electric. Other nights, they look like they’re shooting with blindfolds on. Sadly, this was one of those nights. the Lakers’ bench outscored the Kings’ 59-21. Before this game the Kings had the ninth most bench points per game with 37.1. If they matched their average tonight, the Kings would have won by double digits. The bench will need to be consistent in the second half of the season if the Kings are to earn homecourt for the playoffs.