(Photo By: Rocky Widner/Getty Images)
Lakers at Kings: 3 Things to Know (2/24/18)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers begin their road trip against the Sacramento Kings.
1) Randle can do it all
Julius Randle has spent the last month simply overwhelming opponents in the post, and was at it again for the majority of Friday’s win over Dallas.
The Mavericks tried to guard him with small forward Harrison Barnes, but Randle was far too physical for that. When Dallas resorted to sending double teams at him, Randle began to feast with his playmaking.
He was able to locate shooters and cutters left open by Dallas’ doubles, including a handful of flashy across-the-floor dimes.
The result was one of Randle’s most complete games of his career. The 23-year-old finished the night with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists: his fifth triple-double.
2) Defense stepped it up
After giving up an average of 129.3 points during their three-game losing streak, the Lakers’ defense amped it up against Dallas.
They held the Mavs to 102 points on just 40.7 percent shooting, showing tenacity, communication and execution of the game plan.
The defensive star of the night was Brandon Ingram, whose 7-foot-3 wingspan stifled Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. Across the roster, Dallas’ players shot just 2-of-13 from the field when defended by Ingram.
It was one of Ingram’s top defensive outings of the season, as he also recorded three blocks, two steals and six deflections.
One of Brandon Ingram's best defensive halves of the season. Contested a ton of shots.— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) February 24, 2018
Watch him fight past two screens to get a piece of this one. Then pushes ahead in transition and sets Randle up for the slam. pic.twitter.com/z6I5zxRvuD
3) Lakers can’t fall in the trap
Sacramento is far from a juggernaut, but the Lakers have shown a tendency to fall into trap games this season.
Plus, the Kings — who are last in the NBA in offensive efficiency and second-to-last defensively — have already taken one game from L.A. this year, so the purple and gold know better than to assume victory.
Instead, the Lakers will have to continue to lock in on defense, which has unsurprisingly been the key to most wins this season.
Offensively, if L.A. — which will be without a resting Lonzo Ball — can continue to execute plays like the one below, it will be just fine.
Of the 10 assists in Julius Randle's triple-double, this one might be the best.— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) February 24, 2018
• Surprise back screen from 5'9" Isaiah Thomas
• Pinpoint bounce pass from Randle
• Josh Hart puts two guys in the popcorn machine pic.twitter.com/W1ZGNm818d
Lakers: Lonzo Ball (sore left knee) and Channing Frye (appendectomy) are out.
Kings: Iman Shumpert (post-surgical left knee rehabilitation and left plantar fasciitis) and Harry Giles (bi-lateral knee rehabilitation) are out.
Tip-Off: 7 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 KWKW
Unis: Gold Icon
Location: Golden 1 Center — Sacramento, California