The betting odds had the Los Angeles Lakers as the underdog going into this game against the Sacramento Kings. With LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Andre Drummond inactive, the Lakers had to figure out a way to win this game. The Kings had other plans and had been playing really well as of late.
It seemed like the Lakers and Kings were headed to a close contest early in the game but Kyle Kuzma and company caught fire. They were devastating from beyond the arc and took a 12 point lead into the break. The halftime intermission did not cool down the Laker shooters, as they kept knocking down shots, but also played well defensively to expand the lead.
With the Lakers shooting so well, they completely took the Kings out of the game. It also didn’t hurt that Alex Caruso and Talen Horton-Tucker had some monster jams to kill the opponent’s spirit. In the end, Kuzma led the way to an important Laker victory 115-94.
CARUSO GOT UP 😳🔥 pic.twitter.com/AVvts62eOL
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 3, 2021
Player of the game – Kyle Kuzma
We finally get to see LeBron’s Space Jam trailer tomorrow, which means he probably gave Kuz some of his “Secret Stuff” because he was phenomenal. Kuzma led all scorers with 30 points and finished an impressive +29 on the night.
Kuzma also notched five boards and shot 4 for 7 from beyond the arc. More importantly, there was energy with Kuzma today that was contagious on both ends of the floor. He almost had a poster on his hands but was fouled and unable to finish the dunk. With so many key players missing, Kuz shouldered the load and attacked efficiently.
Stat of the game – 17 for 33
It’s no secret the Lakers have struggled to shoot the ball at times this season, but today that was not the case. The Lakers shot 51.5% from three, which is why they completely dominated the game. Now, don’t get me wrong they were also very good defensively, but when you are shooting that well, it gets everybody excited.
In the previous eight games, they were shooting 31% from downtown. The Lakers needed this type of performance to get their confidence back. Hopefully, they are able to carry this momentum over to the rest of this road trip.
Quote of the night – “I just gotta stop being a B****… Just take on the challenge.”
Kuz, on his growth defensively.
“I just gotta stop being a B-word…. Just take on the challenge.”
Yes, he actually said “b-word,” and then immediately apologized to the media relations person in the room. Kuz after games has been must-watch this year lmao.
— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) April 3, 2021
You can always count on Kuzma to give you an interesting quote and tonight was no different. According to Harrison Feigen of Silver Screen and Roll, Kuzma is ready to take on the challenge defensively moving forward.
While most people will focus on Kuz’s offensive output this game, his defense was equally as impressive. The Lakers are going to need him to continue to make a difference on the defensive side as they gear up for the post-season.
Once the Lakers start getting their franchise players back, Kuzma will not need to score 30. However, he will need to continue to take on those challenges on the defensive end to help the Lakers win games.
The Lakers now head back South to take on the Clippers in a game where they will need to play like they did today in order to get a win. The game is on Sunday at 12:30 pm PST in a prime time game on ABC.