After losing in triple overtime on Friday to the Sacramento Kings, the Los Angeles Lakers got some revenge Tuesday by beating the Kings on their home floor, 117-92.
Anthony Davis led the way with 25 points as Los Angeles improved to 12-11. The Lakers rallied from a 14-point third-quarter deficit to earn their third win in their last four games.
Russell Westbrook had 23 points and Malik Monk added 22 off the bench for Los Angeles. Lakers star forward LeBron James was scratched just hours before the game after being placed in the NBA's health and safety protocols.
Sacramento fell to 8-14 after its second straight loss. Richaun Holmes had a team-high 27 points on 12-of-13 shooting.
Notable Player Stats
F Anthony Davis, LAL: 25 points, 7 rebounds
G Russell Westbrook, LAL: 23 points
G Malik Monk, LAL: 22 points (off bench)
C Richaun Holmes, SAC: 27 points (12-of-13 FG), 9 rebounds
G De'Aaron Fox, SAC: 17 points
Lakers Get Their Act Together in Second Half
For the majority of the first half, the Lakers looked out of sorts. Los Angeles was allowing easy baskets by Sacramento, surrendering 18 fast-break points before halftime.
Things looked bleak when the Lakers fell behind by 14 two minutes into the third quarter. But whatever head coach Frank Vogel said in the huddle, he should keep repeating it throughout the season. Los Angeles played with fury from that point on, clamping down on defense and attacking on offense to take a 13-point lead heading into the fourth.
The Lakers held the Kings to 4-of-18 shooting (22.2 percent) in the third quarter and outscored them 37-15. Davis and Westbrook combined for 21 points in the frame. Dwight Howard, who played a season-high 35 minutes and had 12 points and 13 rebounds off the bench, was a key in the team's defensive turnaround.
It was an impressive comeback, but it was a surprise that the comeback was needed. The Lakers entered the season regarded as a title contender while the Kings are a young team still trying to find its way.
Los Angeles has struggled to fins consistency this season. Mental lapses like they had in the first half have plagued the Lakers throughout the year. If they hope to contend in the Western Conference this season, they will have to play like they did in the second half for the full 48 minutes.
Kings Dominate Inside Before Falling Behind
Early on, Sacramento was making its living inside the paint. The Kings had the pick-and-roll working and also were able to get out in transition for easy buckets. Holmes and Chimezie Metu put on a dunk show in the first half.
Sacramento was able to keep things going early in the third quarter thanks to some great ball movement.
Things fell apart when the Lakers inserted Howard and began playing the defense a title contender should be capable of. Besides Holmes, Metu (14 points) and De'Aaron Fox (17), no other player on Sacramento scored in double figures.
The Kings can push some teams by playing fast and utilizing their skilled big men inside. But Sacramento also has to find balance on offense if it hopes to earn some wins. Players like Tyrese Haliburton (six points) and Buddy Hield (five) will have to play better than they did on Tuesday going forward for the team to be successful.
The Lakers will enjoy a few days off before returning to action on Friday against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Kings will visit the Clippers on Wednesday.