Caldwell-Pope’s season-high 34 points help Lakers top Kings
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — During a five-minute span in the third quarter, everyone in the Golden 1 Center knew where the ball was going when the visiting Los Angeles Lakers were on offense. That didn’t mean the Sacramento Kings could do anything to stop Kentavious Caldwell-Pope from putting on a one-man shooting show.
Caldwell-Pope scored 17 of his season-high 34 points in the third and the Lakers snapped a three-game road losing streak with a 113-108 win Saturday night against the Kings.
Caldwell-Pope hit eight 3-pointers and the Lakers had 17 overall. Isaiah Thomas added 17 points off the bench in his fifth game since Los Angeles acquired him in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been that hot,” said Caldwell-Pope, who is in his first season with the Lakers after spending his first four NBA seasons with Detroit.
Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic each had 21 points to lead the Kings, who have lost eight of their last nine home games. Willie Cauley-Stein added 18 points and 15 rebounds.
The Kings took a 64-54 lead with two minutes gone in the third quarter, but Caldwell-Pope then hit five 3s in a five-minute span to lead the Lakers on a 33-19 run for the rest of the period.
“He got a couple in transition, but he’s 6-foot-6 and he just shot it over the top of us,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said. “So once he got a catch, he could just get it up and he sent it over the top.”
The teams traded the lead early in the fourth before the Lakers took control, though the Kings pulled within a point in the final minute. Thomas and Josh Hart each hit a pair of free throws in the final 12 seconds to seal it.
“Those are easy points. I’m always willing to be that guy who takes those free shots,” Thomas said.
Lakers rookie guard Lonzo Ball was held out after returning to the lineup and playing 17 minutes Friday night against Dallas. He had missed the previous 15 games with a sore left knee.
Lakers: Caldwell-Pope’s eight 3s were his most in a game this season and tied his career high. He also hit eight while scoring a career-best 38 points against New Orleans last season.
Kings: Sacramento is struggling at home over the last seven weeks, winning just once there during that stretch to fall to 8-19 at the Golden 1 Center this season. The Kings are 10-22 on the road.
Even though the Kings and Lakers had some epic Western Conference playoff battles a decade and a half ago, the Lakers have dominated the series since both teams landed in their current homes, with the Lakers now holding a 94-45 advantage.
Kings rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox returned after missing a game with conjunctivitis. He started and played 30 minutes, scoring 13 points and handing out six assists without committing a turnover.
Lakers: Play at Atlanta on Monday. Los Angeles won its only previous game against the Hawks this season, 132-113 on Jan. 7 at home.
Kings: Wrap up a three-game homestand against Minnesota on Monday. Sacramento has lost its two previous games this season against the Timberwolves, both of which were played in Minneapolis.
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