Malik Monk #11 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots the ball during the game against the Sacramento Kings on January 12, 2022 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.
Malik Monk #11 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots the ball during the game against the Sacramento Kings on January 12, 2022 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.
Rocky Widner

Lakers Lose Momentum in Third, Fall to Kings

by Matthew Barrero

For the first time in six games, the Lakers were back on the road and faced a familiar foe in the form of the Sacramento Kings. L.A. was outscored 70-42 in the paint and finished 16-24 from the charity stripe. The lack of interior scoring, missed free throws, and a dominating third quarter by the Kings ended up being the difference in the game, as the Lakers (21-21) slip back to .500 and lose 125-116.

In back-to-back games the Lakers found themselves trying to make a late comeback, but it was all for naught on both occasions as the Kings were able to hit some clutch shots late and avoid the letdown.

The Lakers led by as many as 14 in the first half and started off on the right foot at the start of the third up six. At the 8:09 mark of the quarter, Sacramento tied the game and that’s when the wheels began to fall off for the Lake Show. The Kings would outscore the Purple and Gold 24-13 in the final seven minutes and 40-23 in the entire quarter.

The late push from LeBron James, Malik Monk and Austin Reaves would cut the deficit down to two with about a minute and a half left in the ballgame, but De’Aaron Fox floater and a Chimezie Metu three-pointer would push the lead back up to seven and the Kings never looked back.

LeBron once again proved why he deserves to be an 18x All-Star, finishing with 34 points, seven rebounds, six assists and a block. He has now scored 25-plus points in 12-straight games (has scored 30-plus points in 15 of his last 16 games).

After a rare cold night for Monk on Sunday, he returned to form in Sactown, finishing with 22 points on 6-of-9 from beyond the arc to go with seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

Reaves had a career night on Sunday with his late effort to make a comeback against Memphis, and he was once again on fire tonight. AR ended his night with a new career-high 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field (4-of-7 from three) and added three rebounds.

The Lakers will fly home and regroup before they head back on the road to take on the Denver Nuggets for the first time this season on Saturday.

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