The Sacramento Kings (14-21) defeated the Los Angeles Lakers (24-13) by the score of 123-120 on Wednesday night. A close game from the second quarter forward, the Kings win was propelled by a big night from shooting guard Buddy Hield, who scored 29 points, as well as solid scoring from De’Aaron Fox and Harrison Barnes (23 and 20, respectively).
Point guard Dennis Schröder led the Lakers with 28 points, while Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma added 26 and 25 respectively, dominating the rebounds as well with 11 and 12. The Lakers, missing LeBron James for the first time all season, kept the game tight with balanced play and a fierce pursuit of possession.
STAR OF THE GAME
Buddy Hield was on fire from three-point range against the Lakers. At one point he sank ten straight field goals, and he finished the game 7-for-11 from beyond the arc. As has happened so frequently of late, the Kings became competitive when Hield’s shots consistently dropped. His clutch play is the only reason the Kings have stayed close or held a lead in any recent games. The team as a whole shot 48% on three-point attempts. When Hield is on, the team wakes up.
Star point guard De’Aaron Fox spent another game absent from the bulk of the scoring, having only 14 by the start of the fourth quarter. In the Kings’ downward spiral over the last 11 games, Fox has managed only 43% shooting from the field. In the prior ten games, of which they won seven, he was shooting over 50%. His stroke has noticeably fallen away in recent games, and his three-point percentage has dropped six whole percent–from 37% to 31%–in the same span. If these Kings are going to stay competitive in games, they need their floor leader to keep passing the ball and find his touch from outside.
It should be no surprise at this point, but center Richaun Holmes continues to step up and fight for the ball. His prowess under the basket was on display against the Lakers; he finished the game with 9 rebounds. He also recorded the only blocked shot for the Kings all night.
Last game in the whole league before the All-Star Break:
Sacramento Kings @ Portland Trail Blazers, Thursday, March 4th, 7:00pm PT
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