After trailing for the majority of three quarters, the Los Angeles Lakers erased a 19 point deficit in the second half against the Sacramento Kings to win their first preseason game at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
The new look Lakers were without an official lineup for most of the week and was named hours before tipoff when head coach Luke Walton announced that D’Angelo Russell, Louis Williams, Luol Deng, Julius Randle and Timofey Mozgov were starting.
Notably not in the starting lineup was shooting guard Jordan Clarkson, who assumed Williams’ sixth man role for the game and this year’s second overall pick, small forward Brandon Ingram, who was already expected not to be in the starting lineup.
Walton was unsure of naming a starting lineup until tipoff because he wanted to see if certain players would work well together stating, “You’re not looking for individual things, you watch the game as a whole. You see if they’re playing well in certain groups. There’s always chemistry between some players.”
The Lakers took a while to get their chemistry together, getting their first points three minutes into the first quarter when Randle hit a 22-foot shot. Throughout most of the game, the Lakers could not find a rhythm, trailing 31-21 after the first quarter.
Arron Afflalo was the main offense for the Kings, providing 14 points and five rebounds in 18 minutes and kept his team afloat for most of the game, as the team went on a 12-0 run late in the second quarter to make it a 52-39 going into the half.
Most of the third quarter was going well for the Kings, who led 60-41 after a Anthony Tolliver dunk with 8:51 remaining until the Lakers went on a 23-9 run the rest of the quarter to get within 5 points, 69-64.
The Lakers did not cool down entering the fourth quarter when the bench provided the boost as Jose Calderon, Black and Clarkson went on a 14-0 run to start the quarter to separate themselves 78-69.
A 39-15 fourth quarter from the Lakers sealed a 103-84 win for them, though much in part was due to the Kings not playing their starters and the Lakers bench staying hot throughout the final quarter.
Four Lakers players scored in double digits with Black and Williams leading the team with 15 points each. The Lakers outrebounded the Kings 52-38 and held them to 35.9% shooting throughout the game.
The Lakers go back to Staples Center to face the Denver Nuggets for their second preseason game Oct 6.