Lakers overcome James’ absence to beat Kings 117-92

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Anthony Davis scored 25 points, Russell Westbrook added 23 and the Los Angeles Lakers overcame the absence of LeBron James to beat the Sacramento Kings 117-92 on Tuesday night.

The Lakers sent James home earlier in the day after he was included in the NBA’s health and safety program. Davis said James told him he was feeling fine and had no symptoms, but the Lakers would have to play at least a couple of games without him.

“We still have to find a way to win,” Davis said. “We cannot let that affect us. Obviously, he’s a huge part of our team. But we played a huge amount of games without him. So we know how that was. We have to keep playing like we did defensively until he can come back. ”

The Lakers have more than enough from their two other big stars and continued with a dominant third inning to win the head-to-head games for the first time since November 8-10.

The Kings opened up a 66-52 lead in the third inning before the Lakers trailed them by 27 points from the final 9:15 of the half to take a 13-point lead into the fourth inning.


“Sometimes, a coach has to light a fire for his team,” said coach Frank Vogel. “Today is one of those games. We didn’t put in the effort required to switch defensively and with our pick and roll averaging measures. … Sometimes you have to let them hear about it.”

Westbrook scored 11 and Davis had 8 throughout the stretch, including the dunks that gave Los Angeles the lead.

“My job and Russ’ isn’t to feel like we have to do it all, but we also have to do enough to help our people,” Davis said. It’s not just me and Russ. It’s a team thing. But me and Russ as the head of the snake, we have to be able to keep leading these guys. until LeBron comes back.”

Sacramento missed 17 of 18 shots from the field in the run-up to the fourth half. The Kings fell 2-3 under interim coach Alvin Gentry.


Richaun Holmes scored 27 points shooting 12 to 13 in his first game back after missing three points through illness. De’Aaron Fox adds 17 but also has seven turns.

“I want to apologize to all the Kings fans out there because you guys don’t deserve this,” Gentry said. “The second half was a disaster and it was an embarrassment. We couldn’t do what we did in the second half. … The fans don’t deserve it.”


James has missed 12 of the first 23 games this season for the Lakers through injury, suspension and now the latest defeat that has sidelined him for multiple games. The team is 7-4 with James and 5-7 without him after the win over Kings.

“We’re different now than we were three weeks ago or when he first played,” Vogel said before the game. “Hopefully we’ll have more success this time around.”


Lakers: Avery Bradley (right thumb sprain) also missed the game. … Malik Monk hit a 40-foot long shot just before the halftime whistle to give Sacramento a 59-50 lead at halftime. Monk finished with 22 points. … Los Angeles rotated serve eight times in the first quarter.


Kings: F Marvin Bagley (non-COVID-19 illness), F Moe Harkless (knee) and F Harrison Barnes (leg) all missed the game. … Sacramento shot 55.6% in the first half and 28.6% in the second.


Lakers: Hosts the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.

Kings: Visit the Clippers on Wednesday.


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Huynh Nguyen

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