Just a few days removed from a triple-overtime encounter, the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings face off again on Tuesday in Sacramento, Calif.
The Kings outlasted the Lakers on Nov. 26, 141-137, behind De’Aaron Fox’s 34 points and significant contributions from the reserves. Buddy Hield led Sacramento to 71 bench points, hitting for 25, while Marvin Bagley III, Terence Davis and Tristan Thompson all scored 13.
Sacramento followed the marathon win with a sluggish start en route to a 128-101 loss at Memphis on Sunday. The Kings (8-13) were outscored 38-25 in the first quarter and 38-27 in the second.
When Sacramento gave up eight quick points to open the second half, extending the Grizzlies lead to 28 points, interim Kings coach Alvin Gentry pulled the starting lineup.
“I didn’t think we had the kind of activity I thought we should have,” Gentry said after the game. “And then after a couple easy baskets here or there, I decided it was time to try somebody else.”
Reserves Hield and Davion Mitchell played the most minutes on Sunday at 29 and 31, respectively. Hield led Sacramento in scoring with 14 points, and Mitchell finished with 11 points and a team-high six assists.
The Lakers are coming off a much different game, outlasting the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, 110-106. The Los Angeles core trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook scored 33, 24 and 25 points, respectively, and each played more than 36 minutes.
The three carried a similarly heavy workload in the triple-overtime matchup with Sacramento. James recorded 30 points and 11 assists in 50 minutes, Davis had 23 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots in 49 minutes, and Westbrook extended his all-time NBA record for triple-doubles with 29 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in 51 minutes.
The veteran threesome is buoying the Lakers (11-11) while the team searches for depth and chemistry. Along with Carmelo Anthony, Davis, James and Westbrook are the only Los Angeles scorers to have played in at least 10 games averaging in double-figures.
Talen Horton-Tucker is averaging 11.9 points per game since joining the lineup on Nov. 14.
“Adversity is something that I think is great in life in general,” Westbrook said Sunday. “It builds character. It kind of shows who you really are when things are not going your way. And if you can kind of stick through the ups and the downs, which I think right now guys are trying to figure out, ultimately you’ll be happy with the result.”
The Lakers endured a three-game losing streak from Nov. 15-19, and while going 3-2 over their last five, have not strung together consecutive wins since Nov. 8 and 10.
Sacramento fired coach Luke Walton on Nov. 21 amid the team’s second four-game losing skid in November. The Kings bookended wins over Portland and the Lakers with losses to Philadelphia and Sunday’s blowout in Memphis during Gentry’s first four games as interim.