Playing without LeBron James, Lakers still punish Kings

Anthony Davis scored 25 points, Malik Monk shot 6-of-10 from 3-point range en route to 22 points off the bench, and a Los Angeles Lakers team playing without LeBron James rode a big third quarter to a 117-92 defeat of the host Sacramento Kings on Tuesday.

Trailing 72-68 midway through the third quarter, Davis and Russell Westbrook ignited the first of two 12-0 runs that began in the period.

Davis scored six of the 12 points in the first burst, which lasted a little more than three minutes, while Westbrook added three points and assisted on a 3-pointer by Monk that capped the pivotal run.

Westbrook finished with 23 points, six assists and five rebounds.

Carmelo Anthony then scored five of his 14 points off the bench to spark Los Angeles’ second 12-0 run, which lasted into the early fourth quarter and pushed the Lakers’ lead to 18 points.

The reserves came up big for Los Angeles and helped extend the lead to as many as 27 points in the final period. Dwight Howard added 12 to the Lakers’ 58 total bench points, as well as a game-high 13 rebounds.

Bench contributions were timely with James scratched from the lineup late due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Sacramento, meanwhile, got just 20 points from its reserves – though the bench accounted for four of the team’s six made 3-pointers. Davion Mitchell knocked down a pair en route to eight points, and he was the only Kings player to make more than one on a 6-of-29 collective shooting night from long range.

With outside shots not falling, Richaun Holmes and Chimezie Metu carried much of Sacramento’s scoring load on the interior. Holmes shot 12-of-13 for a game-high 27 points, while Metu finished 7-of-10 for 14 points with 11 rebounds.

De’Aaron Fox was Sacramento’s only other scorer in double-figures with 17 points.