Showtime: Kings hand Lakers first home loss behind red-hot offense

Nov 15, 2023, 9:35 PM | Updated: 10:15 pm

(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers entered Wednesday night as one of four NBA teams with an undefeated record on their home floor.

Five games, five wins–until the Sacramento Kings came to town.

Thanks to another impressive offensive display, the Kings dominated the Lakers from the opening tip, leading by as many as 26 points en route to a 125-110 win at Arena.

Sacramento (6-4) picked up its fourth-straight win while De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, and Kevin Huerter finished with 24+ points as the Kings continued to pick up steam after getting Fox back from an ankle injury.

While the offense was impressive once again, Sacramento almost doubled their season-high in steals (11) with 20 swipes on Wednesday night. Those 20 steals turned into 21 fast-break points as the Lakers struggled to slow a speedy Kings team down in transition.

Another day, another lighting of the beam for Sacramento as the Kings opened up a two-week, six-game road trip with a win in Southern California–in the form of a wire-to-wire win over Los Angeles in front of a national audience, nonetheless.

Kings vs. Lakers Takeaways

The Starters Get Things Rolling

After scoring 132 points during Monday’s win over Cleveland, Sacramento’s offense picked up where it left off once they took the hardwood in Los Angeles.

Domantas Sabonis and Kevin Huerter jumpstarted the Kings’ offense in a big way, as Sacramento led by as many as 20 points during a busy start on the offensive end.

Sabonis stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals, while Huerter scored 10 points on four-of-five shooting from the field as the Kings went 15-of-28 (54%) from the field and six-of-12 from beyond the arc over the first 12 minutes of action.

The Lakers’ struggles on their end of the floor (39% FG) coupled with Sacramento’s quick start put the Kings in the driver’s seat as the ‘Beam Team’ took a 38-25 lead into the second quarter.

As LeBron James led Los Angeles back to cut the deficit to single digits, De’Aaron Fox stepped up in the second to help Sacramento maintain a double-digit lead at the halftime break.

Fox scored 14 of his 21 first-half points during the second quarter, and the reigning Clutch Player of the Year did so while knocking down three of his six attempts from beyond the three-point line.

Thanks to solid efforts from Fox, Huerter, and Sabonis–who finished the first half with 19 points and 12 rebounds–the Kings took a 72-59 lead into the third period.

The trio of Fox, Sabonis, and Huerter (53 points) nearly outscored Los Angeles on their own as the Lakers struggled to find offense outside of James (19 first-half points).

Huerter Stays Hot

For some, patience was running out for Kevin Huerter following a rough start to the season.

The rough start for Huerter, who shot 28 percent from the field and 20 percent from deep during the first five games of the season, came on the heels of the guard’s struggles during Sacramento’s seven-game NBA Playoff series (34% FG and 20% 3PT).

As conversations regarding Huerter’s place in the rotation took social media by storm, the veteran guard put his head down and shot his way out of his slump last week–and he hasn’t slowed down since.

Huerter topped the 20-point mark for the third-straight game, finishing Wednesday’s win with a season-high 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field and six-of-11 from three-point range to go along with four rebounds, a season-high seven assists, and two steals over 28 minutes.

With De’Aaron Fox back in the picture, Huerter has gotten more looks on the perimeter as opposing defenses collapse in on the speedy guard during drives to the basket.

When Huerter is locked in from deep, Sacramento’s already dangerous offense has kicked into high gear over the past two games.

Fox & The Ox

The Kings’ two All-NBA stars carried their weight–and then some–on Wednesday.

Sabonis, who set the tone early while going right at Los Angeles big man Anthony Davis, finished with a season-high 29 points (13-of-19 shooting), 16 rebounds, seven assists, and three steals over 39 minutes.

Once the Lakers crowded the paint and attempted to slow Sabonis’ roll in the paint, Fox took initiative on offense and went on to finish 28 points (1o-of-22 shooting) while adding five rebounds, five assists, and a season-high four steals.

When both Fox and Sabonis are locked in, they create a nightmare for opposing defenses, as they can hurt you in various ways, whether it be bruising down low in the post or on the break.


Shooting 50 percent from the field and knocking down 16 triples is a huge reason why Sacramento came out on top with a win, but the defensive aspect of Wednesday’s game shouldn’t be overlooked.

The Kings picked up a season-high 20 steals and scored 21 fast-break points, but they also kept a very good inside-scoring Lakers team out of the paint.

Entering play on Wednesday, Los Angeles was ranked sixth in the NBA in points in the paint (53.5). During their win, Sacramento outscored the Lakers 54-50 in the paint as Anthony Davis has held to a season-low nine points on three-of-nine shooting from the field.

All five Kings starters had at least two steals during the win:

  • Fox: 4
  • Huerter: 2
  • Barnes: 3
  • Murray: 2
  • Sabonis: 3

Sacramento’s 20 steals on Wednesday marked the first time they have swiped 20+ steals in a game since Jan. 11, 2001, vs. Houston and just the fifth time in their franchise history.

Injury Report

Trey Lyles (calf strain) has not appeared in a regular season game but is progressing toward a return to action. The forward was seen going through a workout following Tuesday’s practice and could be in line for a return during this two-week road trip.

Alex Len (right ankle sprain) will be sidelined for the foreseeable future as he recovers from a high-ankle sprain in his right foot. There is no timetable for Len’s return, although it’s expected his absence could fall in line with how long De’Aaron Fox took to come back from his ankle sprain (minimum two weeks).

When is the next Sacramento Kings Game?

The two-week, six-game road trip will continue for Sacramento as they will play their next NBA In-Season Tournament game against rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Lakers coverage, beginning at 3:00 PM PST on Game Night before a 4:30 PM PST tip-off from San Antonio, Texas.

Upcoming Schedule

  • Friday, November 17th – Sacramento Kings @ San Antonio Spurs** – 4:30 PM PST
  • Sunday, November 19th – Sacramento Kings @ Dallas Mavericks – 4:30 PM PST
  • Monday, November 20th – Sacramento Kings @ New Orleans Pelicans – 5:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, November 22nd – Sacramento Kings @ New Orleans Pelicans – 5:00 PM PST
  • Friday, November 24th – Sacramento Kings @ Minnesota Timberwolves** – 5:00 PM PST

** NBA In-Season Tournament Group Play

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