LOS ANGELES – The Sacramento Kings finished Wednesday night’s game 8-3 in the final minute to beat the Lakers 116-111, losing Los Angeles for the third time in the past week by 10 points.
Then, LeBron James The Lakers said there was “no room for error” given the injuries the team was dealing with.
“We’re chained to bodies,” said James. “So until some of our top guys or some of our key players come back…we’ve got to keep playing the way we’ve played the last two games. Playing flawless basketball.”
James led Los Angeles with 32 points, nine assists and eight rebounds and was on the floor more than any other Laker player – recording 36 minutes and 30 seconds of playing time.
Darvin Hamm had said earlier in the month, “I just want to ride [James]for as many minutes as necessary to secure the win after the 38-year-old played 40 minutes for the Charlotte Hornets; but the Lakers coach changed his tune when considering James’ workload against the Kings.
“I feel bad about it,” Hamm said. “He’s playing at an incredible level, but we can’t manage him on the ground. That was one of my main goals in the season. Thirty-six and a half [minutes] the other night. We just have to manage it and have clarity as to reducing his attendance a bit.”
The minutes may have caught up to James in the fourth quarter against the Kings, as he went 1-for-7 in the closing frame, playing all but 25 seconds.
The Lakers were without an All-Star big man Anthony Davis For more than a month due to a right foot injury and also waiting for a comeback Looney Walker IV (knee) f Austin Reeves (hamstring) from the list of injured.
Los Angeles has remained competitive without the three starting players in rotation but has struggled to seal in wins lately.
Their past three losses have come by four points in overtime twice against the Dallas Mavericks, by one point against the Philadelphia 76ers, and by one point against the once-missing Kings. Domantas Sabonis.
James tied the Wednesday game at 108-108 on a one-finger throw and subsequent free throw with 1:10 left in the fourth before Sacramento pulled ahead.
First, Russell Westbrook committed Harrison Barnes Under the basket on an attempted punt, giving the 1-and-1 that James scored again to the Kings on the next possession and allowing Sacramento to go up 111-108.
A couple of properties later, after guarding the Lakers Kendrick Nunn He made the 3 with 7.0 seconds remaining to cut the Kings’ lead from four to one, with rookie guard Max Christie He was called out for a clear, foul run on the Sacramento big man Richawn Holmesgiving the Kings two free throw attempts plus a possession.
Holmes hit both, and Tree LylesHowever, after being fouled after a subsequent inside pass to Sacramento, he added two more to the ice for the game.
“I still feel wholeheartedly that, at some point, we’re going to hack all the way through,” Hamm said. “We compete, in my opinion, at a very high level. We have guys that we’re trying to mix and match due to injury. So, we’re trying to figure out what group of guys you can go with a challenge. But the guys are doing their part.”