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Watch Bogdan Bogdanovic Lift Kings to Win vs. Lakers with LeBron James Injured

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 28, 2018

SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 27: Bogdan Bogdanovic #8 of the Sacramento Kings shoots the ball during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 27, 2018 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rocky Widner/Getty Images

With LeBron James out due to a groin injury, the Los Angeles Lakers fell 117-116 to the Sacramento Kings and surprise star Bogdan Bogdanovic on Thursday.

Bogdanovic scored a team-high 23 points in 30 minutes off the bench, including the game-winning trifecta just ahead of the buzzer:

L.A. led by 15 points with under seven minutes remaining in the game, but the Kings staged a furious comeback, led by Bogdanovic's 12 points in the final quarter:

James' streak of 156 consecutive games played came to an end Thursday, which forced Lakers head coach Luke Walton to lean more heavily on his younger players.

Kyle Kuzma answered the call with a game-high 33 points, while Brandon Ingram scored 22 and Lonzo Ball added 20 to go along with 12 assists.

Bench scoring was likely the biggest difference in the game, as Sacramento outscored L.A. 41-25 in that regard due primarily to Bogdanovic's performance.

By virtue of Thursday's win, they improved to 19-16 and are tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Lakers dropped to 20-15, which is good for fifth in the West, although their standing could drop quickly in the competitive conference if James doesn't return soon.  

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