LeBron James scores 30, Lakers lose to Kings in preseason finale



The Los Angeles Lakers ended the preseason with a record of 0-6 after losing to the Sacramento Kings, 116-112.

Russell Westbrook opened the scoring with six quick points in the first quarter where L.A. built a seven-point lead, but Sacramento quickly eviscerated it to take a 35-23 lead into the second quarter.

The Lakers responded with a 14-0 run to get back into the game in the second quarter as players like Dwight Howard brought the defensive tenacity off the bench.

The third and first half of the fourth quarter had plenty of high-pace moments from both teams. Terence Davis of the Kings and the Lakers exchanged 3s and shots near the rim, but Frank Vogel pulled the Lakers’ key players with three minutes remaining in the fourth.

Sacramento would hold its lead and go 4-0 in the preseason while their divisional rivals finished 0-6.

Here are three takeaways for the Lakers:

LeBron James found his groove

(AP Photo/Randall Benton)

The King dropped his best game of the preseason, just before the regular season approaches.

LeBron James scored 30 points (12-20 FG) in 29 minutes to go with six rebounds, six assists and two blocks. Sacramento’s forwards had a difficult time stopping his drives to the rim, and he threw down some monstrous dunks in transition and while cutting to the rim in half-court sets.

James shook off the rust from his previous two outings, and games will now matter.

Austin Reaves fit seamlessly with the stars

The undrafted rookie continues to show flashes of a solid player in the making. He particularly paired well with James, Westbrook, Anthony Davis and DeAndre Jordan in the second half.

Though his shot numbers (2-of-9 FG, 1-of-8 3P) aren’t appealing, some came on last-second heaves to avoid shot-clock violations. Beyond that, he put up seven assists and five rebounds.

His passes to Davis and Jordan on tight angles stood out, and his ability to keep dribbles alive to find open teammates is a plus alongside several high IQ talents.

Turnovers dropped

(AP Photo/Randall Benton)

The Lakers turned the ball over just 15 times today. Though that’s still not an ideal number, it’s less than what the team has posted in recent games.

James and Westbrook each accounted for three, while Rajon Rondo’s five led the Lakers. Nonetheless, these are small steps in the right direction for a unit that was always going to start rough chemistry-wise.




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