LAL
SAC

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James scores 25 as Lakers use defense to top Kings 101-86

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Smoke from the raging Northern California wildfires seeped into the Golden 1 Center, giving LeBron James a headache and leading Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton to shorten his players' stints on the court.

But the haze did little to slow James and the Lakers, who used their best defensive effort of the year to earn a 101-86 win Saturday night against the Sacramento Kings, lifting Los Angeles to .500 (6-6) for the first time this season.

James scored 25 points and recently signed Tyson Chandler had 12 rebounds for the Lakers, who began the season with three straight losses but now have won four of their last five.

The Lakers held the Kings, who entered the game averaging 118 points per contest, to their lowest scoring total of the season. It was only the second time Sacramento has been held below 100 points this season, and it marked the first time Los Angeles had held an opponent below 100.

''We won the game tonight because of our defense,'' Walton said. ''I think we've been showing glimpses of that defense, but tonight was the first time we've been able to put it together for long stretches.''

James hit three 3-pointers and had seven rebounds. He only had two assists, though he often fed teammates for open shots that missed - including Lonzo Ball, who was 2 for 10 from the field.

Chandler, playing in his second game with the Lakers, logged 23 minutes and scored three points. In his first game, the Lakers held Minnesota to 110 points - which, up until Saturday night's game, was tied for the lowest by any Los Angeles opponent this season.

''For me, the defense has been easy because it comes naturally, but it's a matter of getting into the offense,'' Chandler said. ''The key for us was getting back on transition, building walls, forcing them into a half-court offense.''

James said the Lakers' center duo of starter JaVale McGee and Chandler, who combined for 20 rebounds and a pair of steals, has solidified a defense that struggled early in the season.

''(Chandler) just shored up our front court. We have a great 1-2 punch now with JaVale and Tyson,'' James said.

De'Aaron Fox had 17 of his 21 points in the first half to lead the Kings, who shot 35 percent from the field and went 6 for 25 on 3-pointers. Willie Cauley-Stein added 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Fox said the Lakers were able to shut down the Kings' fast-paced offense by getting back quickly on defense.

''They got back every shot attempt and they sent four people back,'' he said. ''And we didn't shoot the ball well.''

The Lakers were ahead by six points at the half and held a 76-65 lead entering the fourth quarter. They built that lead to 20 points at 88-68 before the Kings responded with a 10-0 run, but Sacramento got no closer.

ON THE REBOUND

The Lakers had a season-high 59 rebounds, including a season-best 17 on the offensive end. Five of Chandler's rebounds were offensive, while McGee had three of his eight rebounds on offense.

LEBRON'S RETURN

James made his NBA debut in Sacramento 15 seasons ago as the No. 1 overall draft pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He had 25 points, nine assists, six rebounds and four steals in the Oct. 29, 2003, game in which the Kings defeated the Cavs 106-92.

BAD SHOOTING

The Kings were held to their worst field goal percentage of the season, going 32 of 92 from the field. They were averaging 49 percent shooting coming into the contest, third best in the NBA.

TIP-INS

Lakers: Ball missed all six of his 3-point attempts, most of them wide open. ... There were plenty of Los Angeles fans in the stands, and several ''Let's Go Lakers'' chants in the fourth quarter.

Kings: Sacramento's 44 points in the first half matched a season low. ... The Kings had scored 100 or more points in each of their seven previous contests. ... Sacramento had a season-low 11 assists.

UP NEXT

Lakers: Return home to host Atlanta on Sunday.

Kings: Conclude a four-game home stand on Monday by hosting San Antonio, which has won 14 straight against Sacramento.

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Key Players
L. James
23 SF
D. Fox
5 PG
29.9 Min. Per Game 29.9
17.3 Pts. Per Game 17.3
6.9 Ast. Per Game 6.9
4.0 Reb. Per Game 4.0
50.4 Field Goal % 49.4
50.0 Three Point % 49.7
76.2 Free Throw % 68.7
+ 2 Harry Giles made hook shot 0:18
  Offensive rebound by Harry Giles 0:19
  Justin Jackson missed driving layup 0:20
  Defensive rebound by Troy Williams 0:34
  Svi Mykhailiuk missed 2nd of 2 free throws 0:36
  Svi Mykhailiuk missed 1st of 2 free throws 0:36
  Personal foul on Justin Jackson 0:36
+ 1 Frank Mason III made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:44
+ 1 Frank Mason III made 1st of 2 free throws 0:44
  Shooting foul on Svi Mykhailiuk 0:44
  Defensive rebound by Harry Giles 0:48
Team Stats
Points 101 86
Field Goals 41-99 (41.4%) 32-92 (34.8%)
3-Pointers 12-38 (31.6%) 6-25 (24.0%)
Free Throws 7-17 (41.2%) 16-20 (80.0%)
Total Rebounds 72 60
Offensive 17 13
Defensive 42 37
Team 13 10
Assists 23 11
Steals 11 7
Blocks 3 5
Turnovers 14 19
Fouls 20 20
Technicals 2 0
25 PTS, 7 REB, 2 AST
21 PTS, 7 REB, 2 AST
1234T
away team logo Lakers 6-6 26242625101
home team logo Kings 7-6 2024212186
Team Stats
away team logo Lakers 6-6 116.7 PPG 46.1 RPG 25.1 APG
home team logo Kings 7-6 113.9 PPG 45.5 RPG 24.6 APG
Key Players
L. James SF 28.8 PPG 7.7 RPG 6.9 APG 52.0 FG%
D. Fox PG 18.2 PPG 4.1 RPG 7.4 APG 49.1 FG%
Top Scorers
L. James SF 25 PTS 7 REB 2 AST
D. Fox PG 21 PTS 7 REB 2 AST
41.4 FG% 34.8
31.6 3PT FG% 24.0
41.2 FT% 80.0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
L. James 31 25 7 2 1 0 3 2 10/18 3/6 2/3 1 6 34 +2
B. Ingram 30 12 8 2 0 0 0 4 5/17 0/2 2/2 2 6 24 +2
K. Kuzma 31 11 3 3 2 0 1 1 5/13 1/5 0/0 1 2 21 0
J. McGee 22 10 8 0 1 2 2 0 5/6 0/0 0/0 3 5 19 +9
L. Ball 19 4 3 4 1 0 0 2 2/10 0/6 0/0 1 2 16 -2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
L. James 31 25 7 2 1 0 3 2 10/18 3/6 2/3 1 6 34 +2
B. Ingram 30 12 8 2 0 0 0 4 5/17 0/2 2/2 2 6 24 +2
K. Kuzma 31 11 3 3 2 0 1 1 5/13 1/5 0/0 1 2 21 0
J. McGee 22 10 8 0 1 2 2 0 5/6 0/0 0/0 3 5 19 +9
L. Ball 19 4 3 4 1 0 0 2 2/10 0/6 0/0 1 2 16 -2
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Caldwell-Pope 17 11 2 1 0 0 0 1 4/10 2/7 1/2 0 2 15 +14
J. Hart 17 11 5 2 2 0 0 2 4/9 3/7 0/0 1 4 22 +16
L. Stephenson 13 8 5 2 1 0 2 2 3/3 2/2 0/0 0 5 16 +12
R. Rondo 28 6 4 7 2 0 2 1 2/9 1/3 1/4 2 2 24 +17
T. Chandler 23 3 12 0 1 1 4 4 1/2 0/0 1/4 5 7 13 +7
S. Mykhailiuk 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0/2 0 0 0 -1
I. Zubac 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0/2 0/0 0/0 1 1 2 -1
M. Beasley - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Williams - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Wagner - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Caruso - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Bonga - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 233 101 59 23 11 3 14 20 41/99 12/38 7/17 17 42 206 +75
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Fox 38 21 7 2 2 1 4 1 8/17 3/6 2/2 0 7 31 -13
W. Cauley-Stein 25 12 12 0 1 1 4 5 6/14 0/0 0/0 4 8 22 -7
B. Hield 25 12 4 2 0 0 2 2 3/17 1/6 5/5 2 2 18 -8
I. Shumpert 26 7 2 1 2 0 0 3 3/8 1/4 0/0 0 2 13 -10
N. Bjelica 26 2 7 2 1 0 2 3 1/6 0/1 0/0 3 4 12 -6
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Fox 38 21 7 2 2 1 4 1 8/17 3/6 2/2 0 7 31 -13
W. Cauley-Stein 25 12 12 0 1 1 4 5 6/14 0/0 0/0 4 8 22 -7
B. Hield 25 12 4 2 0 0 2 2 3/17 1/6 5/5 2 2 18 -8
I. Shumpert 26 7 2 1 2 0 0 3 3/8 1/4 0/0 0 2 13 -10
N. Bjelica 26 2 7 2 1 0 2 3 1/6 0/1 0/0 3 4 12 -6
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
M. Bagley III 21 13 3 0 0 2 3 0 5/12 0/0 3/6 2 1 15 -9
F. Mason III 16 6 0 1 0 0 1 0 2/3 0/1 2/2 0 0 7 -3
B. Bogdanovic 20 6 4 2 1 0 0 0 1/6 0/3 4/5 0 4 15 -3
J. Jackson 15 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 1/5 1/3 0/0 0 1 4 +1
T. Williams 8 2 1 0 0 0 2 3 1/2 0/1 0/0 0 1 1 -8
H. Giles 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 1 1 4 -1
K. Koufos 12 0 7 1 0 1 1 2 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 6 9 -8
B. McLemore - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Labissiere - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Y. Ferrell - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Gabriel - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. Randolph - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 234 86 50 11 7 5 19 20 32/92 6/25 16/20 13 37 151 -75