Westbrook gets an F in brutal loss to the Kings

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The Los Angeles Lakers have now lost two in a row after losing to the Sacramento Kings, 125-116.

Los Angeles had the advantage for most of the first half. LeBron James took shots near the rim, Malik Monk caught fire again from the depths and Talen Horton-Tucker made some nice shots towards the rim.

But after building a 14-point lead at the end of the second quarter, the Lakers collapsed in the final few minutes during that same span that saw the change in momentum come into the second half.

The Kings outscored the Lakers 40-23 in the third and built their own 13-point lead. Austin Reaves boosted a late comeback in the fourth with buckets from LeBron and Malik Monk, but it wasn’t enough.

Here’s how the Lakers, now 21-21 this season, ranked individually after the loss:

After shooting 4 of 14 from the field two games ago and 2 of 12 in the last game, Russell Westbrook shot 2 of 14 against the Kings, somehow losing efficiency after two difficult outings. He went 0 of 5 from distance and his latest failure killed the Lakers’ hopes of making a comeback. Westbrook’s misfires summed up the squad’s struggles in every game, and LA would have been better off not playing him. He had eight points, six assists and 12 rebounds.

It didn’t help that Harrison Barnes got the Westbrook mission as it’s a tough job for Westbrook given the size difference, but he always has to be smarter with the ball no matter what the turnover. .

Malik Monk didn’t have the best defensive performance despite having two blocks, but his shot kept the Lakers floating in the first half although he calmed down in the second. He rebounded from a bad night against Memphis to drop 22 points on 7 of 13 shots in total with a 6 of 9 clip deep with seven rebounds and three assists. He was 6 of 7 deep before missing his last two attempts.

Avery Bradley had another cold shooting match after going 2 of 10 against Memphis. Bradley only shot 2 of 9 tonight and missed all four of his 3s, and he hasn’t been able to use his cutting prowess to slice Sacramento’s defense as much as he has. for his opponents in the past. He’s had four assists, but like Westbrook, his hiccups hurt him badly.

Trevor Ariza has shown signs of being washed this evening. He seemed slow all night and took some bad 3-point attempts that scratched his head at best. He helped himself with five rebounds, three assists and three steals, but it wasn’t a good night for him to be in the starting lineup either.

LeBron struggled on the field, shooting 13 of 29 overall, 3 of 12 from deep and 5 of 10 from the charity strip. But he still lost 34 points, seven rebounds, six assists and a steal. Similar to last week’s game against the Kings, James walked around during the first half before turning it on when he needed it. His shot just wasn’t falling like it has recently been, but he still managed. He could have been more assertive too, but he was far from the reason LA lost tonight.

Austin Reaves was the best Laker. After having his ankles torn off by fellow rookie Davion Mitchell, Reaves responded with a flashy edge-cutting dunk and hit 4 of 7 with 3 points en route to a 19-point night. He’s also fouled the Kings several times, and he’s been at the heart of the Lakers’ comeback efforts throughout his 28 minutes. Reaves did some tough buckets all night and had a great performance both ways despite the result.

Talen Horton-Tucker didn’t have a fancy game, but there were some good things to remember. He landed a triple catch-and-shoot to reduce the deficit and converted near the edge for a nine-point night, but he shot 4 of 9 overall to get there. Sometimes he felt like he needed to be on the ground instead of Westbrook.

Dwight Howard needed more minutes to play. He was only 15 off the bench, but he scored eight points on a 3-of-3 shot and picked up seven rebounds in that span. He was also responsible for four of Los Angeles’ offensive rebounds, and his presence downstairs helped swallow the open layup lines allowed by small-ball lineups.

Stanley Johnson should have played the minutes Ariza played. Johnson scored eight points off the bench and managed 2 of 3 shots from downtown with an assist, but he recorded just 12 minutes. Ariza is by far the most proven shooter, but Johnson made more sense on a night like this with his intensity and young legs against a fast Kings team.

Wayne Ellington played nine minutes off the bench, especially in the fourth quarter when Westbrook came to the bench. The Lakers were hoping he could provide the hot shot he had against Memphis a few nights ago, but he went 0 of 2 on the pitch and glanced at a pindown above the pause.

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