Lakers lose to the Sacramento Kings, again

Either it’s a hurdle or a wall. The Lakers couldn’t be sure.

Now they are.

The Sacramento Kings fully have the Lakers’ number, one team completely dominating the other in a series that’s been badly tilted to away from Los Angeles over the last two seasons.

The Lakers’ 120-107 loss to Sacramento exposed so many of the team’s problems that have haunted them against the Kings’ in the past. Too much shooting. Too much speed. Too much toughness.

Too many questions without answers.

It didn’t matter that the Kings played Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks and that they were missing starting guard Kevin Huerter and key reserve in Trey Lyles.

Anthony Davis, one of the NBA’s best two-way players and maybe the most important Laker, lost again to Domantas Sabonis – a player Davis has never beaten in 10 tries. Sabonis bullied Davis into the block, spun, elbowed him in the jaw and scored, the Kings center running back down the court while Davis stayed on the court.

It wouldn’t be the only time he knocked Davis down.

LeBron James, the benefactor of two days of rest, came out of the huddle on the next play and turned the ball over for the third time in the third quarter leading to an easy Kings fastbreak.

D’Angelo Russell, the Lakers’ red-hot guard, went cold as ice in Sacramento, who graciously didn’t play that song this time, as he missed his first seven shots before hitting a fourth-quarter three.

The Lakers cut the Kings’ lead to nine in the fourth, a glimmer of momentum. But Sacramento, like it has all season, easily broke the Lakers’ down, hit back-to-back threes including one from Malik Monk off an offensive rebound. Harrison Barnes would hit another second-chance three after Sabonis grabbed a rebound over Davis.

Only Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura gave the Lakers any offensive lift, Reaves scoring 28 and Hachimura finishing with 20 on just nine-of-11 shooting.

James and Davis combined for 40 points, but they took 16 and 18 shots, respectively.

The Lakers play another key game in their playoff race Saturday against the Golden State Warriors back in L.A.

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