Random dribbles following the Sacramento Kings’ 115-94 home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.
1. Well, you can’t win them all. Not in a 72-game season. But this is one the Kings probably should have won. The Lakers didn’t have LeBron James, Anthony Davis or Andre Drummond. The Kings were at home. Everything was set up for them to win.
2. But maybe that was the issue. Maybe the Kings overlooked the defending champs. That’s probably a funny thing to read. Believe me, it was a funny thing to type. Still, it’s a possibility. After all, the Kings sort of seemed to be just going through the motions in the first quarter. Then came the second, and they couldn’t defend, surrendering 36 points.
3. As coach Luke Walton put it: “We have to do other things better and that starts with intensity and physicality. That was an opponent that had been struggling to score, struggling to shoot, and they got into a rhythm. It felt like they were pushing us around.”
4. That said, this is hardly reason for panic. This was a bad loss, a game you expected to win. But it’s not the end of the world (or season) if you apply what you learned. For the Kings, the key is to just move on with focus, and “physicality” of which Walton speaks.
5. Harrison Barnes was fantastic with 26 points on 9-of-10 shooting. Richaun Holmes played like himself with 11 points and seven rebounds. De’Aaron Fox had a rough night, scoring 12 points on 5-of-20 from the floor. And everyone else was just sort of out there.
6. On the bright side, the Kings can quickly forget this one, with another home game Saturday night. That’s when back-to-back NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks come to town. For the Kings (22-27), if offers an opportunity to start feeling good about themselves again after two straight losses.
7. In case you missed it, the Kings are in line to host fans for the first time this season in late April — as California is set to open for indoor sports on April 15. The Kings’ first game at the Golden 1 Center after that is April 20. “We are excited about today’s announcement regarding indoor professional sports venues and look forward to safely welcoming fans back to the arena in the near future,” the team said in a statement Friday.