On a night where no one could get things going and the Los Angeles Lakers struggled to find consistent offense from anyone, an unreal effort from one of their veterans sparked them when they needed it most.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope exploded for 34 points, tying a career high with eight 3-pointers, as the Lakers recovered from a 10-point deficit to get a 113-108 win over the Sacramento Kings. Caldwell-Pope did much of his damage in the third, when he scored 17 points and made five 3-pointers to prevent the Lakers from squandering a winnable road game.
The point total was a season-high for Caldwell-Pope, and he also grabbed seven rebounds. The Lakers as a team set a season high 17 makes from behind the arc. Isaiah Thomas made three 3-pointers, while no other player on the team had more than two.
The Lakers looked sluggish on the second night of a back-to-back. Once again they struggled to defend the three-point shot as Sacramento got plenty of open looks from deep.
Nonetheless, L.A. eventually received plenty of contributions throughout the night, including 17 points from Thomas, who hit four clutch free throws to ice the game down the stretch. Brandon Ingram continued his all-around play with 13 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. Julius Randle had 12 points, 13 rebounds and six assists.
Things almost came unraveled for the Lakers down the stretch as an untimely turnover from Thomas led to a De’Aaron Fox dunk and a tough foul call on Caldwell-Pope resulted in a four-point play by talented Kings rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic that cut the Lakers lead to one.
Thomas provides the Lakers with someone they can trust at the line down the stretch and he came through when it mattered most.
The Kings were led by their pair of talented shooters as Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield each scored 21 points and combined for nine three-pointers. Willie Cauley-Stein added 18 points and 15 rebounds.
Next up for L.A. is another road game as they head to Atlanta to take on the Hawks on Monday in hopes of their third straight win out of the All-Star break. Lonzo Ball is expected to suit up once again after sitting out this contest as the Lakers continue to bring him back slowly from his sprained MCL.
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