Lakers’ LeBron James and Anthony Davis Struggle in Crucial Loss to Kings with Playoff Implications.


LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and D’Angelo Russell had off nights as the Lakers lost a key game to the Kings.

The Los Angeles Lakers no-showed for a pivotal road contest against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the red-hot D’Angelo Russell combined to shoot 15-of-43 (34.8%) from the field in the 120-107 loss at the Golden 1 Center.


The Lakers entered the matchup trailing the Kings by two games for the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference playoff race. Considering the stakes — and two full days of rest before and after — it was a deflating effort by a Lakers group that had won nine of its past 13 games. Their transition defense was porous, and they were consistently slow to close out on shooters. They were careless with the basketball and outworked on the glass. Mentally, they simply weren’t locked in.

“Any loss is frustrating, especially when you allow a team to beat you because of your mistakes,” said Davis. “Turnovers, offensive rebounds, miscues on defense. … We allowed a team to beat us.”


More than anything, the Lakers were plagued by their best players. LeBron (6-of-16 FG) was one assist shy of a triple-double but looked uncharacteristically out of sorts all night (his counterpart, Harrison Barnes, dropped 23). Davis was bested by Domantis Sabonis for, remarkably, the 10th straight meeting. Both of Russell’s field goals came in the fourth quarter with his team down double-digits.

“Tough night for me,” said Russell.

If not for huge first halves from Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura, the Lakers would’ve been toast by halftime. A 28-17 third quarter from the Kings put the Lakers away.


“Offensively, we just couldn’t get it going and they did,” said LeBron. “Really good team, they have our number this year, for sure.”

Sacramento swept the season series (4-0) over their Pacific Division rivals for the first time since 2015-16.

“Maybe if we play them again, we’ll figure it out,” added Russell.

The Lakers (36-31) ended the night three games behind the Phoenix Suns for the No. 6 seed and tied in the loss column with the Golden State Warriors for the final play-in spot.


“We already knew we was in a gauntlet of our schedule,” said LeBron. “Everybody positioning, jockeying … some of the best teams in the league. We knew it was a tough stretch for our ballclub … but we’ve still been playing some good ball.”


The Lakers will host the Warriors on Saturday at Arena. Stephen Curry is expected to be available.

“We’ve been doing a good job of bouncing back from devastating losses and getting that bad taste out of our mouths, and we’ll do the same with this game. Learn from it and get ready for the Warriors,” said Darvin Ham.


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