LOS ANGELES -- It was manic Tuesday at Staples Center. Two young teams desperately trying to find their way in the NBA played an erratic, wild and mostly entertaining game. In the end, the Los Angeles Lakers found a way to come out on top, besting the Sacramento Kings by a final of 99-86.
“It’s a game of runs,” De’Aaron Fox said. “We would go on a run, they went on a run, we went on a run, they went on a run - they made the last run and they kind of just sustained it.”
Those words flew out Fox’s math so quickly they almost blurred together. The 20-year-old point guard almost captured the entirety of the game in a two-second sound bite.
The Lakers came out firing in the first quarter, taking an 18-point advantage over the Kings before the players could even break a sweat. And then they gave it all back.
Sacramento trailed by just four going to the second quarter and then took a lead at the 7:51 mark of the period on a Bogdan Bogdanovic layup. Los Angeles surged ahead again, but escaped the half with just a 53-52 lead.
“The whole game was a lot of changes on the scoreboard, but that’s something we got to learn,” Bogdanovic said. “First of all, we can’t start that bad. And second, when you’re in a tie game, you have to keep pressuring them and play like we (did) to tie the game.”
The Kings jumped all over the Lakers in the early third, using a 12-3 run to take a 64-56 lead. It was short-lived as veteran big man Brook Lopez started dropping in haymakers from behind the arc.
An eight-point lead turned into a 13-point deficit in less than seven minutes of game action. The Kings made strides to end the third, but they still trailed by 10 going to the final frame.
Sacramento bit into the Lakers lead on multiple occasions in the fourth, even pulling within five at the 9:16 mark of the quarter. But they spent too much energy chasing down the home team and didn’t have enough in the tank to complete the comeback.
“We are still young, we’re still learning,” Bogdanovic added. “This is also something new for us. I know we have some games that we play and we start bad. Some of the games, we never come back through the end of the game. So there is something positive from this game too.”
Bogdanovic has a point. The Kings have trailed big in plenty of games this season and folded up shop early. They put up a fight against the Lakers after falling behind big early.
Despite forcing 26 turnovers and coming away with 15 steals, the Kings couldn’t buy a basket, shooting just 34.5 percent on the night. All things considered, the score could have been much more lopsided.
Bogdanovic tied his career-high with 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting. He and big man Kosta Koufos are the only players on the Kings roster to shoot above 50 percent on the night.
The Kings will look to snap their two-game skid Thursday evening when they host the Clippers at Golden 1 Center.