For two quarters on Monday evening, the Los Angeles Lakers were not only holding their own against the Sacramento Kings on the road, but were leading at halftime.
Then the third quarter happened.
Boogie and the Kings outscored the Lakers 39-13 in the third and continued the onslaught in the fourth to bury the Lakers, eventually winning 116-92. There were bright moments on the night, but they were lost in ugly defense, a myriad of mysterious non-calls and terrible technicals.
Luke Walton is a true OG
With all the craziness of the night, it’s almost forgotten that Walton was ejected in the first quarter. And while it seemed rash at the time, I couldn’t be happier that he did it.
It’s been a very long time since we’ve seen someone on the Laker sidelines defend his team so adamantly. But Walton saw Boogie channel his inner Ray Lewis on Julius Randle and stuck up for his player despite the refs turning a blind eye and, as a result, costing the Lakers. (something all too common on the night).
Having a coach who not only defends you, but does so at the risk of being ejected is wonderful to see and something that the Lakers won’t soon forget.
Luol Deng lives?
On Sunday, Luol Deng turned back the clock and played like it was 2011. On Monday, he finished with 16 points, hit a pair of threes, only missed four shots and looked far more comfortable on the night.
Even as a strong Deng defender, there’s no argument to be made against the fact that he’s been bad to start this year. However, he’s now had back-to-back great performances and looks far more comfortable with D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young back.
Nick Young and D’Angelo Russell have revitalized the team
This may shock you, but the Lakers getting back their starting backcourt revitalized them offensively.
Young and Russell helped the Lakers off to a surprisingly great start for one of the few times this season and the team looked the best it has in weeks during the first half tonight.
The defense is still really, really, really bad, but there’s improvement being seen again and, at least for 24 minutes tonight, the Lakers were fun to watch again.
@LakersOutsiders you can’t blame the injuries now
— Brian Bird (10-17) (@BViper24) December 13, 2016
— Dave (@d_joseph20) December 13, 2016
@LakersOutsiders Ugh. We tried but woof
— Maximillion Gibson (@Jawnikowski) December 13, 2016
— (@Original_Gio) December 13, 2016
@LakersOutsiders 2nd half was horrible, officiating made it worse
— Vinz (@vepino) December 13, 2016
@LakersOutsiders team needed Jordan Farmar.
— Sheen Lee (@SheenKL) December 13, 2016
— Colton (@LivePurpleNGold) December 13, 2016