After falling apart late Monday night against the San Antonio Spurs, the Sacramento Kings get an opportunity for redemption Tuesday on the road. Waiting for them is a struggling Lakers team caught in the middle of a media storm.
Sacramento played well for about 44 minutes against the Spurs, but they were outscored 17-5 down the stretch by a veteran San Antonio team. Willie Cauley-Stein posted big numbers, but the Kings received solid contributions from almost everyone who stepped on the floor.
The Lakers lost nine straight before taking apart the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday. Like last season, Los Angeles started hot and then they've gone ice cold. Rookie Kyle Kuzma is still the best player on the team, but Brandon Ingram is quickly developing in his second NBA season.
Lakers by 6.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
De’Aaron Fox vs. Lonzo Ball part 2 -- Welcome to the main event. Since returning from injury, Fox is playing his best ball as a pro. The 20-year-old posted 11 points and 10 assists Monday against the Spurs and has looked aggressive on both sides of the court. Ball has improved his 3-point percentage as the season has progressed, but he’s still shooting just 35.3 percent from the field overall. It should be a fun match between two young and talented point guards.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 13-26, fourth place in Pacific
Lakers: 12-27, fifth place in Pacific
Kings: PG George Hill (personal) out, PG Frank Mason III (heel) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out.
Lakers: No injuries to report.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
Punch Back -- The Lakers lead the NBA in pace, but they struggle mightily on the defensive end. They’ll want to get into a track meet and the Kings need to have answer. Sacramento is last in the league in pace, points per game and offensive rating, but they have plenty of young guys that can run.
Shake Off the Loss -- Sacramento went toe-to-toe with the Spurs for most of the night at Golden 1 Center. They fell apart late, but there was a lot to like in the loss. The NBA schedule doesn’t allow time for feeling sorry for yourself. Move on and get ready for a struggling Lakers club.
Mobile Forwards -- The Kings struggle with size at the forward position. The Lakers come in with two versatile and tall forwards in Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma. Davis Bertans lit the Kings up for 28 points on Monday evening and if they don’t make adjustments, either Kuzma or Ingram or both will have a field day.
The Kings beat the Lakers 113-102 back in late November to take a 1-0 lead in the season series. Los Angeles owns a huge 270-154 lead in the all-time series and a 92-45 advantage during the Sacramento-era.
“Tomorrow’s game? Another game.” -De’Aaron Fox on the Kings/Lakers matchup on Tuesday.