NBA Preseason: Los Angeles Lakers Lose To Kings, End Preseason Winless
After losing 116-112 against the Sacramento Kings in their final preseason game, the Los Angeles Lakers went winless in the preseason.
Russell Westbrook bullied De’Aaron Fox on consecutive possessions while DeAndre Jordan was able to get a tip-in to go, and the Lakers were aggressive scoring around the rim early. The other Lakers stars appeared to be involved as well, with LeBron James scoring five points in less than a minute and Anthony Davis playing excellent defence as usual.
The Lakers’ offence stuttered as it had done during the preseason, and the Kings took a 19-17 lead on a Harrison Barnes three-pointer. Los Angeles struggled with turnovers, as they attempted to force hit-ahead passes that were off the mark, and they went into the second quarter losing 35-23.
The Laker offence came alive in the second quarter, with Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook connecting on a trio of 3-pointers to take the team within single digits. Los Angeles’ defensive intensity increased as they were able to force many missed baskets and turnovers, allowing them to retake the lead.
Dwight Howard was a huge help to the squad, as his hustle around the rim got the Lakers moving, however, he did pick up a flagrant charge after hacking Harrison Barnes, as well as a few costly fouls in his limited minutes. After allowing another Kings surge, James and Davis were able to score nearly at will at the hoop, but L.A. trailed 71-65 at halftime in a high-scoring game.
And that's a wrap on the preseason. pic.twitter.com/GHDSdGTaPu— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 15, 2021
The third quarter began with a scare when James came up limping after a play, but he stayed in the game after being examined on the bench. Austin Reaves continued to sparkle on the offensive end as ‘The King’ swiftly shook off any ill effects by burying a couple of jumpers.
L.A. found its offensive stride in the second quarter, pushing the ball from side to side and finding wide space to go on a 15-3 run. Unfortunately, the bench was unable to keep the lead, and the Lakers entered the fourth quarter trailing 92-87.
Both sides were able to trade baskets early in the fourth stanza, making it a competitive game. Los Angeles momentarily took the lead, despite having trouble protecting Terrence Davis, who caught fire from beyond the arc.
Despite the closeness of the game, head coach Frank Vogel chose to pull his core rotation players and sub in men from the end of his bench. As a result, the Purple and Gold would suffer another setback.