Sacramento Kings Friday game wrap: Kings make valiant effort but can’t hang on in 98-94 loss to Lakers

April 7, 2017

NBA, Sacramento Kings

Los Angeles Lakers guard Tyler Ennis, right, tries to take the ball from Sacramento Kings forward Anthony Tolliver during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, April 7, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 98-94. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

By Jessica Kwong

LOS ANGELES – The Sacramento Kings allowed the Los Angeles Lakers, two spots behind them in rankings and second to last in the western conference, to come up from behind and win Friday night’s game at Staples Center.

After Darren Collison’s triple with 14 seconds remaining, the Kings finished the quarter up 31-18, but that dwindled, and the close game got out of reach for Sacramento in the last minute.

Kings head coach Dave Joerger said what the team talked about postgame was “the consolation prize.”

“That we put ourselves in another game-ending situation, some things that you can learn,” Joerger said.

The Kings quickly blew a 13-point lead from the first quarter. A minute-and-a-half into the second quarter, Jordan Clarkson made a three-pointer to cut the lead to 31-25, forcing the Kings to call a timeout. The Lakers tied the game at 37 points when Julius Randle made two free throws with just under four minutes to go in the quarter.

Los Angeles lead by as many as four points before Collison passed the ball to Skal Labissiere who made a cutting dunk to put the Kings back up 45-44.

The third quarter was head-to-head, with neither team leading by more than five points and four lead changes. Sacramento managed to take the lead after George Papagiannis made an eight-foot turnaround hook shot. Then Collison made a running layup to put the Kings up 70-67, but Brandon Ingram made two free throws to put the Lakers within one point at the end of the quarter.

Sacramento again led by as many as five points in the fourth quarter, but the Lakers tied the game four times and sealed the win in the final minute.

D’Angelo Russell made a driving finger roll lay-up with 41 seconds remaining to give the Lakers up 93-92. Buddy Hield made a bad pass and Corey Brewer stole the ball, the Kings’ 23rd turnover. Langston Galloway fouled Brewer, who made both at the free throw line.

“Guys are trying to make plays. Most of them are not forced turnovers with us. Some of them are just losing the ball or a loose ball rolling off the foot or unforced turnovers,” Hield said. “We have to fix that and I think we’ll be fine.”

Hield made a driving lay-up with a second left in the game to 96-94, but fouled Russell, who made both at the line and give the Lakers a win by four points.

“They threw us around in the paint and got 16 offensive rebounds,” Joerger said. “Is it good for us to learn some of that stuff? Yes, because hopefully down the line that play that we have to draw up at the end is for us to get into the playoffs or the difference between getting fifth seed and seventh seed.”

The regular season for the past few weeks for the Kings has been about giving young players more time on the court and getting ready for a better season next year.

“That’s all this time is right now is gaining experience. Trying to compare through things like that. That’s big for our young guys and us making a step forward to making the playoffs for next year,” Cauley-Stein said. “You have to be able to execute those plays down the stretch. That’s part of learning it.”

The Kings return to the Golden 1 Center on Sunday to face the Houston Rockets. Tipoff is at 3 p.m.

 

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