Here are five takeaways from the Lakers’ 121-114 win over the Sacramento Kings.
1. Brandon Ingram had perhaps his best all-around game this season, with his effort propelling the Lakers past the Kings.
Ingram was efficient in scoring his 21 points, going nine for 13 from the field. He looked for his teammates when he was the primary ball handler, handing out a season-high nine assists. His defense was solid, his two blocks and seven rebounds telling part of the story.
And when the Lakers needed a source of inspiration in the fourth quarter, Ingram provided that as well.
He scored seven consecutive points over a 1-minute, 19-second stretch in the fourth, his run helping turn a two-point deficit into a three-point lead after his three-pointer gave the Lakers a 113-110 lead they never lost.
“I don’t think no one wants to go in and just force shots or just put up 20-30 shots and not have his teammates enjoy the win or whatever we have going on,” Ingram said. “So for guys to shoot threes and get excited and get to the lane and get excited, I think that is the most joy for me.”
2. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was aggressive the entire game for the Lakers, scoring a season-high 26 points, 19 in the second half.
He was unafraid to shoot the basketball, going nine for 21 from the field, five for 13 from three-point range.
His seven points in the fourth quarter were big for the Lakers.
3. The Lakers attempted 44 three-pointers, making 15 of them for 34.1% shooting.
Kyle Kuzma was a team-best four for 10 from three-point range.
The Lakers were just four-for-14 from three-point range in the fourth quarter.
“It’s good that the guys have confidence to shoot them,” Ingram said. “I remember before we weren’t taking those shots. To have the guys that can have the confidence and knock them down is good for us.”
4. The Lakers had lost the first two games after LeBron James (groin) and Rajon Rondo (finger) went down with injuries.
One of those was a tough loss to the Kings in Sacramento on Thursday night.
When the Lakers got down by 11 points to the Kings in the rematch Sunday night at Staples Center, it didn’t look good for the young core.
But the Lakers rallied behind Josh Hart, Ingram, Kuzma and Lonzo Ball.
“We just continue to show growth, growth each and every game,” Ingram said. “Just being down in that fourth quarter and then to have the passion to come together and fight together and score baskets and get defensive rebounds and get defensive stops, it just shows how much we grown over the seasons.”
5. The Lakers still can’t make free throws, going 12 for 20 (60%) from the line.
But they made 83.3% of their free throws in the fourth quarter, going five for six.