(Photo By: Ty Nowell/Lakers.com)
Lakers at Kings: 3 Things to Know (11/22/17)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers pay a visit to the Sacramento Kings.
1) Kuz and KCP came up big last night
The Lakers had a rough start to Tuesday’s game against Chicago, falling behind by as many as 19 points. Still, they managed to clamp down on defense, cut off turnovers and rally for their biggest comeback of the season.
For as big a hole as the Lakers fell into, it would have been much larger if Kyle Kuzma weren’t a one-man offense in the first half, scoring 18 of his game-high 22 points.
The rookie did his usual work down low, breaking out a dunk, running jumper and spinning and-1. But he also stretched out his range, hitting four triples and bumping his five-game 3-point clip up to 46.4 percent.
Meanwhile, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope put forth his best game as a Laker, scoring a season-best 21 points while filling the stat sheet with nine rebounds, four assists, four 3-pointers, three steals and seven (!) deflections.
While he was strong on both sides of the floor for the entire night, KCP saved his best performance for crunch time, scoring 11 points in the final three minutes — including the go-ahead put-back and a couple of dagger 3-pointers.
Just call Julius Randle.
The second-unit center was especially active in the win over the Bulls, packing 10 points, 10 rebounds and pairs of assists and blocks into only 28 minutes of play.
He was a key part of turning the game around, leading a 15-4 run in the third quarter with eight of his points in about two minutes.
The burst trimmed the Lakers’ deficit to one and also featured this outstanding sequence when he swatted a layup, grabbed a rebound and took it coast-to-coast for an and-1 layup in transition.
3) The Lakers need to be locked in for a win
Sacramento is reeling, owning a 4-13 record and the league’s worst point differential (-12.6).
The Kings are also last in scoring (93.2 ppg) and second-worst in 3-pointers, free throws, rebounds, assists and opponent 3’s.
But the Lakers have fallen into trap games twice in the past week, losing to Phoenix and nearly to Chicago. On the second night of a back-to-back they can’t afford another lax effort against Sacramento.
Taking care of the ball will be crucial, as they committed 19 turnovers versus the Suns and 13 in the first half against Chicago (before allowing just one in their second-half comeback).
Also look for which team sets the speed of the game, as the Lakers love to get out and run, while the Kings operate at the second-slowest pace in the NBA.
Lakers: Larry Nance Jr. (fractured second metacarpal, left hand) is out.
Kings: Harry Giles (bi-lateral knee rehabilitation) is out.
Tip-Off: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes in L.A. NBA TV nationally
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 KWKW
Location: STAPLES Center — Los Angeles, California