Video Credit: NBA

FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs. Kings – Game 63


Despite LeBron James’ return, the Los Angeles Lakers blew a 10-point lead heading into the fourth quarter and lost to the Sacramento Kings, 110-106.


Lakers vs Kings
Photo Credit: L.A. Times

Andre Drummond got going early by scoring twice in the lane, but Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed his first three attempts from the field, which allowed the Kings to take a 10-7 lead. The offense struggled to score on open looks, though defensively, Los Angeles was able to get enough stops to prevent Sacramento from going up much more.

The Lakers looked even more out of sorts with James off the floor, turning the ball over and getting too deep into the shot clock without generating a quality look. Los Angeles managed to scrape together a couple of buckets the final minute but went into the second, trailing 30-23.

L.A. briefly fell behind by double digits but moved the ball to get Ben McLemore and Marc Gasol back-to-back threes while a James running hook tied the game at 34. McLemore caught fire, draining two more 3-pointers while Anthony Davis came up with plays on both ends to go up by five.


With the Lakers leading, they looked more energized on both sides of the floor and were able to keep maintain their modest lead. However, Sacramento turned things around toward the end of the half and L.A. walked into the half with a slim 56-55 advantage.


Lakers vs Kings
Photo Credit: NBA

The two teams toggled with the lead to begin the third, though the Lakers eventually took control after getting out on the break. Los Angeles did a job of forcing more stops, but Sacramento strung together a couple of good offensive possessions and brought the game within two.

Davis got into an offensive rhythm, hitting his patented turnaround jumper and finishing around the rim. Montrezl Harrell returned to the game after taking a shot to the face in the first half and gave the team a boost, allowing them to go into the final quarter leading 88-78.

Sacramento would not go away so quietly, once again trimming the lead down to make it a competitive game. The sloppy play allowed the Kings to get within one point, though the Lakers did enough to hold on to a slim lead toward the middle of the period.

However, things quickly turned as Sacramento retook the lead after another Los Angeles turnover led to a transition dunk. Davis came up with a steal in the final minute to set up the Lakers’ last possession, but James missed a potential game-winning three.

James played 32 minutes and recorded 16 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists.


Lakers News and Notes:


Lakers vs Kings
Photo Credit: Action Network

The Los Angeles Lakers received a much-needed boost with the return of Anthony Davis after missing nine weeks with a calf strain. Unfortunately, the Purple and Gold still have yet to find their rhythm amid their 1-4 stretch since the star big man came back.

The Lakers currently own the No. 5 seed in the West and are holding on to just a 1.5-game lead over the No. 6 Dallas Mavericks heading into the final stretch. Meanwhile, the Lakers welcomed LeBron James back in the mix after a high ankle sprain kept him out for nearly six weeks.

Although the Lakers are still a work in progress with the playoffs around the corner, Davis is confident that everything else will fall into place if they continue to get healthy and focus on the defensive end.

“First, just getting back healthy. Getting back to the defensive team that we’ve been all year. The offense is gonna come; you can’t expect to win games or championships when you can’t play defense so just getting back to the defensive team that we’ve been all year is gonna help us win games when guys are still trying to find rhythms.

“Markieff is trying to find a rhythm with his shot, me starting to find mine back in the offense, and Drum’s still trying to get back to playing after sitting for two and a half months and then trying to find his rhythm with this team. So while we are trying to get back, we can control what we’re doing on the defensive end, and we just got to get back to that.”

While the team has struggled to turn it on when it matters most, Davis feels all they need to do is find the same sense of urgency and ability to flip the light switch that they had last year.

“We can; we just have to do it. We have to score; we scored 20 points in the second quarter. We got to be able to score the basketball and also get stops…

“We have 10 games left, so if we come out and play like we did in that fourth quarter where the ball was moving, guys were shooting their shots and making plays, then the game is a lot easier for us than scoring 20 points a quarter and not playing with no paces or no effort or no energy then like other teams, it’s playing in a desperate situation. We control our own destiny, so we have to start playing with a sense of desperation even though we are in the playoffs as of right now. But we’re not that far off from being in the play-in game. So we got to play with a sense of desperation as well.”

The comments from Davis indicate that he is not worried about some of the team’s shortcomings on both ends of the floor at the moment. However, the Lakers have just a handful of games left to find that sense of desperation before it is win or go home.



The Lakers are at home against the Raptors on Sunday. The tip-off is at 7:00 pm and the game can be seen on Spectrum SportsNet.

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-Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

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