Kings Blog

Kings get loose with the ball, can’t contain Caldwell-Pope and fall to the Lakers

Sacramento Kings guard Frank Mason III (10) goes to the basket against the Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas (7) at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif. on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.
Sacramento Kings guard Frank Mason III (10) goes to the basket against the Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas (7) at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif. on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. hamezcua@sacbee.com

A bad third quarter and the hot shooting of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope helped send the Kings to their third consecutive loss.

Caldwell-Pope matched his career high with eight made 3-pointers as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Kings, 113-108, Saturday night at Golden 1 Center.

Julius Randle had 12 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. Isaiah Thomas added 17 points of the bench for the Lakers (25-34).

Bodgan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield each scored 21 points for the Kings. Willie Cauley-Stein added 18 points and pulled in 15 rebounds.

The Kings (18-41) only had 11 turnovers for the game, but six came in the third quarter, where they were outscored 37-25 after taking a 58-50 lead into halftime.

That allowed the Lakers to get out in transition. The Lakers had 14 fast break points in the third. The Lakers made 17 3-pointers, to match the most the Kings have allowed in a game this season.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Crashing the glass

Cauley-Stein had played 10 games since the last time he recorded double-digit rebounds. Perhaps he needs a teammate to tease him to get him going on the glass again.

Last season, Cauley-Stein averaged 10.2 rebounds in his last five games after some ribbing from former teammate Ty Lawson, who was the shortest King, but still managed to record a triple-double.

Cauley-Stein entered Saturday averaging 6.7 rebounds, so he’s far from a monster on the boards. But is expecting him to rebound at a higher rate unrealistic?

Running around the perimeter

Defending mobile power forwards has been a problem for Skal Labissiere this season, but late in the game he was on the floor against the Lakers, who were using Kyle Kuzma and Randle, which would force him to play on the perimeter at times.

It’s the kind of experience Labissiere needs now that he’s back from his shoulder injury. The Kings also need as much data as possible to evaluate Labissiere, especially in pressure situations.

Finding more time

Hield would like to play in the 30-minute range consistently and nights like Saturday give the Kings reason to do so. He played 31 minutes, the most he’s played since logging 32 minutes Jan. 11 against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Hield’s 21 points were his most since Jan. 25 at Miami.

Hield is trying to establish that he can be productive scorer when given consistent minutes. The Kings have to continue to find minutes for him.

Jason Jones: @mr_jasonjones, read more about the team at sacbee.com/kings.

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