SACRAMENTO -- The vibe in Sacramento has gone from really good to anxious in a hurry. After a five-game win streak, the Kings got blasted Wednesday night in San Antonio and then came out sluggish versus the Los Angeles Lakers again Friday night at Golden 1 Center.
Despite playing without superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers were the more physical team from the jump. Without the heroic efforts of Harrison Barnes in the first half, it would have been an early blowout.
The Kings never found a rhythm in the game and the Lakers came away with an easy 115-94 victory.
Led by Dennis Schroder, Kyle Kuzma and Markieff Morris, the Lakers (31-18) held a double-digit lead for most of the game. They dominated the Kings on the glass and knocked down 17-for-33 from 3-point range in a near wire-to-wire win.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings dropped a second straight game to fall to 22-27 on the season.
Outside of Barnes, the Kings’ starters showed very little energy or fight against a shorthanded Lakers squad. The trio of De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton combined for 28 points on 12-of-40 shooting, including 2-for-16 from 3-point range.
Richaun Holmes didn’t have a great night either, shooting just 4-of-10 from the field to finish with 11 points and seven rebounds.
When four of your starters run major double-figure negatives in the plus/minus category, you don’t have a shot.
Black Falcon soars
Hassan Whiteside has been working hard to get Barnes’ Black Falcon high school nickname to stick. The Kings even debuted a new Whiteside “cah-caw” sound effect every time Barnes scored a bucket.
In the first half, Barnes did his best to get the call to stick. The veteran forward went to work against the Lakers, scoring 22 points on 7-of-8 shooting before the two teams could get into the locker room for intermission.
Barnes finished the night with 26 points, five rebounds and five assists. He carried the team early and at least made it competitive through the first 24 minutes. The fact that his teammates couldn’t get him more than 10 shots is just another example of how poorly the team played as a whole.
The Wright way
With Fox, Hield and Haliburton all making little to no positive impact on the game, coach Luke Walton turned to Delon Wright for solid minutes.
While he didn’t stem the tide, the veteran guard was efficient, especially in the third quarter when the Kings starters were spinning their tires.
Wright scored 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting and chipped in three rebounds in 21 minutes of action. In his first week with the team, Wright is earning plenty of fans in Sacramento.