The Los Angles Lakers used a hot third quarter to distance themselves from the Kings for a 99-86 victory Tuesday night at Staples Center.
The Kings led 64-56 with 9:15 left in the quarter when the Lakers went on a 28-5 run to take control of the game.
Julius Randle had 22 points, 14 rebounds and six assists for the Lakers (13-27). Lonzo Ball scored just five points but had 11 rebounds and 11 assists.
Bogdan Bogdanovic led the Kings (13-27) with 19 points. De’Aaron Fox had 15 points and Kosta Koufos grabbed 15 rebounds.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Who wants 3?
The Kings’ inability to defend the 3-point line has been a constant. They are the NBA’s worst at defending the arc, entering Tuesday giving up the most makes (12.1) and the highest percentage (38.8). The Lakers went 12 for 35 (34.3 percent).
The last two games big men have exploited that weakness. San Antonio’s Davis Bertans had a career-high 28 points, including six 3-pointers on Monday. Brook Lopez made five in scoring 18 points.
The Kings cannot expect to be a good defensive team if they don’t protect the perimeter. Dribble penetration to free up shooters and losing players in transition have been problems.
This is why Joerger loves Randle
Prior to the game, Kings coach Dave Joerger has good things to say about Randle. He likes the Lakers forward’s physical presence and versatility on both sides of the floor.
As the Kings look to fortify their roster, Randle is the kind of frontcourt player Sacramento could use. One of the Kings’ problems this season has been inconsistent energy – that’s not a problem for Randle.
“I think he’s a terrific player for today’s game,” Joerger said. “I like him a lot.”
The Lakers can make Randle a restricted free agent in the offseason.
The next step
It’s nice that the Kings want to play at a high pace, but that should result in more fast-break points. The Kings surrendered a season-high 35 points on fast breaks to the Lakers while scoring just eight.
Fox is pushing the pace better lately, but to be a fast-paced team, all five players must get out and run. There are times when Fox’s teammates fail to run with him, but he is right to continue to force the issue when he can.