With only eight available players, the Lakers limped to the 2014-15 season’s finish line with a 122-99 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night at Staples Center.
With the loss, the Lakers finish the season at 21-61, 14th place in the Western Conference. Their .256 winning percentage is the worst in franchise history. Previously, the 1957-58 Minneaspolis Lakers had the worst at .264 (19-53). The Kings end at 29-53, one position ahead of the Lakers in the West.
Jordan Clarkson (ankle) sat out, as did Kobe Bryant, Julius Randle, Jeremy Lin, Wayne Ellington, Nick Young, Ronnie Price and Wesley Johnson.
Instead, the Lakers relied on two players who spent most of the year with the D-Fenders in the NBA Development League.
Jabari Brown scored a career-high 32 points and played all 48 minutes. Vander Blue, who signed a three-day contract with the team earlier in the week, scored 15 points with eight assists and seven rebounds -- also playing the entire game.
Ben McLemore scored 24 to lead the Kings. Derrick Williams added 22, Ray McCallum 19, Carl Landry 14, Nick Stauskas 14, Ryan Hollins 12 and Jason Thompson 12. Sacramento, who sat stars DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, shot 54.8% from the field with 10t turnovers.
The Lakers got double-figures from Jordan Hill (12 points), Ryan Kelly (12) and Carlos Boozer (10) -- shooting just 38.3% as a team with 15 miscues.
Kings 96, Lakers 77 (end of third quarter)
Sacramento pulled ahead by 19 points, winning their third straight quarter over the Lakers Wednesday night at Staples Center.
Reserve Derrick Williams has scored 20 points to lead the Kings. Ray McCallum added 17 and Ben McLemore 16 as the Kings shot 53.8% from the field and have committed only four turnovers.
The Lakers played Jabari Brown and Vander Blue for 36 minutes. Brown was the game’s leading scorer with 22 points. Blue scored 13 points and has six rebounds and five assists.
The Lakers shot 40% from the field and have 10 turnovers.
Kings 67, Lakers 53 (halftime)
The Kings extended their lead in the second quarter by outscoring the Lakers, 34-30.
Ben McLemore and Derrick Williams have each scored 16 points. Rookie David Stockton, son of Utah Jazz great John Stockton, dished five assists in six minutes.
The Lakers were led by Vander Blue and Jordan Hill, who both scored 12. Carlos Boozer added 10 off the bench, playing small forward behind Ryan Kelly.
Jabari Brown (three points) and Blue, the Lakers’ only available guards, played the entire first half.
The Kings shot 56.8% from the field with two turnovers. The Lakers shot 44.7% with six miscues.
Kings 33, Lakers 23 (end of first quarter)
The short-handed Lakers fell behind by double digits in the first quarter against Sacramento on Wednesday night.
Sacramento shot 60% from the field, led by Ben McLemore with 10 points and Ray McCallum with eight. The Kings sat Omri Casspi (stomach) for their final game, starting Nik Stauskas in his place.
The Lakers shot just 40.9% from the field, getting seven points from Vander Blue and six from Jordan Hill.
Jabari Brown and Blue, the Lakers only two available guards, played the entire quarter. Brown had a point and an assist.
The Lakers (21-60) host the Sacramento Kings (28-53) on Wednesday in the season finale at Staples Center.
Both Jordan Clarkson and Wesley Johnson will sit because of ankle injuries. Rookies Vander Blue and Jabari Brown will start in the backcourt.
Jeremy Lin (knee), Wayne Ellington (shoulder), Nick Young (knee), Ronnie Price (elbow), Kobe Bryant (shoulder) and Julius Randle (knee) are already done for the season.
The Kings have shut down DeMarcus Cousins (foot) and Rudy Gay (concussion), while Darren Collison (hip), Reggie Evans (thumb) and Eric Moreland (shoulder) are also out.
For an in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Sacramento Kings.