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Randle, Brewer help Lakers edge Kings 98-94

LOS ANGELES (AP) Maybe you can't win for losing, but the Los Angeles Lakers may find you can lose by winning.

The Lakers have picked an odd time to suddenly start playing their best basketball since the start of the season, beating the Sacramento Kings 98-94 Friday night for their third consecutive victory.

While some scream for them to tank at the season's end to finish behind the Phoenix Suns for the second-worst record in the NBA and improved odds in the lottery, the young Lakers (24-55) are instead seemingly learning how to win close games.

''We don't believe in (tanking),'' said forward Julius Randle. ''The basketball gods would come back to haunt us.''

Randle led the Lakers with 25 points, consistently driving aggressively to the basket. His motivation wasn't hurt by having his old college basketball coach, Kentucky's John Calipari, at the game.

But the biggest play of the night was turned in on the defensive end by forward Corey Brewer.

The Lakers were leading 94-92 with 5 seconds left when guard Buddy Hield tried to inbound the ball. Brewer was guarding the inbound pass. Hield lazily tried to throw the ball over Brewer, standing just a couple feet in front of him, and Brewer simply jumped up and snagged the ball.

He was fouled and made both free throws.

''I have to do a better job inbounding the ball,'' Hield said. ''I have to use my deception better.''

The Kings had five players score in double figures, but it wasn't enough to overcome 23 turnovers.

Skal Labissiere led Sacramento with 19 points, while Hield had 17. Darren Collison added 15 points and 10 assists, Willie Cauley-Stein scored 14 points and Georgios Papagiannis had 10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

Brandon Ingram joined Randle in double figures for the Lakers with 14 points, while D'Angelo Russell had 13 points and Jordan Clarkson 12.

TIP-INS

Kings: Sacramento is apparently unconcerned with how its play will impact its own lottery chances. The Kings entered Friday having won four of their last six and tied with the Timberwolves for seventh-worst record in the league. Said Kings coach Dave Joerger: ''There's no tanking here.''

Lakers: Had won only 22 games all season, but Wednesday surprised the Spurs in San Antonio with a 102-95 win. Said Lakers coach Luke Walton: ''It's sports. It's odd (but) we beat the Golden State Warriors by 20 earlier this season.''

BLOCKING OUT

The Kings outrebounded the Lakers 15-6 in the first quarter but were outrebounded the rest of the way 36-25 (14-5 offensive boards). Said Joerger: ''They threw us around in the paint and got 16 offensive rebounds. . We have to do a better job of protecting the rim.''

KIDS LEARNING

The Lakers have struggled to finish close games all season, but particularly after trading leading score Lou Williams to Houston on Feb. 21. Their three consecutive victories, however, have been by 4, 7 and 5 points. Said Walton: ''They seem to be more comfortable. I hope it's from the opportunity they've had and not because it's the end of the season and there really isn't any pressure on us.''

UP NEXT

Kings: Will have their improved play of late tested Sunday when they host the Rockets. Houston has won 11 of the last 12 against the Kings, including all three this season.

Lakers: Host the Timberwolves Sunday, a team that beat them by 15 points a week ago in Minnesota. Timberwolves have gone 8-6 against the Lakers after a 22-game skid.

Copyright 2017 by Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
D. Collison
7 PG
J. Randle
30 PF
30.0 Min. Per Game 30.0
13.4 Pts. Per Game 13.4
3.9 Ast. Per Game 3.9
9.1 Reb. Per Game 9.1
47.2 Field Goal % 48.4
46.4 Three Point % 47.2
84.9 Free Throw % 74.1
+ 1 D'Angelo Russell made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:01
+ 1 D'Angelo Russell made 1st of 2 free throws 0:00
  Personal foul on Buddy Hield 0:01
+ 2 Buddy Hield made layup, assist by Langston Galloway 0:01
  Full timeout called 0:04
+ 1 Corey Brewer made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:04
+ 1 Corey Brewer made 1st of 2 free throws 0:04
  Personal foul on Langston Galloway 0:04
  Bad pass turnover on Buddy Hield 0:04
  Full timeout called 0:05
+ 1 Larry Nance Jr. made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:05
Team Stats
Points 94 98
Field Goals 38-75 (50.7%) 38-86 (44.2%)
3-Pointers 8-20 (40.0%) 4-24 (16.7%)
Free Throws 10-13 (76.9%) 18-25 (72.0%)
Total Rebounds 47 48
Offensive 10 16
Defensive 30 25
Team 7 7
Assists 27 20
Steals 5 12
Blocks 7 1
Turnovers 23 14
Fouls 19 15
Technicals 0 0
away team logo
D. Collison PG 7
15 PTS, 5 REB, 10 AST
home team logo
J. Randle PF 30
25 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST
1234T
away team logo Kings 31-48 3114252494
home team logo Lakers 24-551826252998
Team Stats
away team logoKings 31-48 PPG RPG APG
home team logoLakers 24-55 PPG RPG APG
Key Players
S. Labissiere PF 0.5 PPG 2.8 RPG 0.5 APG 10.0 FG%
J. Randle PF 9.9 PPG 7.5 RPG 2.5 APG 50.0 FG%
Top Scorers
S. Labissiere PF 19 PTS 3 REB 0 AST
J. Randle PF 25 PTS 6 REB 2 AST
50.7 FG% 44.2
40.0 3PT FG% 16.7
76.9 FT% 72.0
Kings
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
S. Labissiere 33 19 3 0 1 2 1 1 8/13 1/1 2/2 1 2 24 +1
B. Hield 30 17 1 2 1 0 4 2 7/14 3/5 0/0 0 1 19 +1
D. Collison 28 15 5 10 1 0 4 0 5/8 1/2 4/4 0 5 37 +14
W. Cauley-Stein 23 14 7 0 0 3 1 2 6/11 0/0 2/4 5 2 23 0
A. Afflalo 19 2 2 1 0 1 2 2 1/2 0/1 0/0 0 2 5 +4
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
S. Labissiere 33 19 3 0 1 2 1 1 8/13 1/1 2/2 1 2 24 +1
B. Hield 30 17 1 2 1 0 4 2 7/14 3/5 0/0 0 1 19 +1
D. Collison 28 15 5 10 1 0 4 0 5/8 1/2 4/4 0 5 37 +14
W. Cauley-Stein 23 14 7 0 0 3 1 2 6/11 0/0 2/4 5 2 23 0
A. Afflalo 19 2 2 1 0 1 2 2 1/2 0/1 0/0 0 2 5 +4
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
G. Papagiannis 25 10 10 3 0 0 2 4 5/8 0/0 0/0 3 7 24 -4
B. McLemore 26 9 3 2 0 0 3 3 3/6 2/4 1/1 0 3 13 -9
L. Galloway 20 5 3 5 1 0 1 1 2/7 1/4 0/0 0 3 18 -18
T. Evans 20 3 3 2 1 0 3 2 1/4 0/1 1/2 1 2 8 -4
A. Tolliver 15 0 3 2 0 1 2 2 0/2 0/2 0/0 0 3 6 -5
R. Gay - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Koufos - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Lawson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Temple - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Richardson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 239 94 40 27 5 7 23 19 38/75 8/20 10/13 10 30 177 -20
Lakers
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Randle 34 25 6 2 0 0 2 3 10/14 0/2 5/7 5 1 33 0
B. Ingram 25 14 2 1 2 0 1 1 6/14 0/2 2/3 2 0 19 -5
D. Russell 33 13 5 5 1 0 4 1 4/10 2/5 3/3 0 5 25 -5
J. Clarkson 30 12 3 6 0 0 1 0 5/12 2/6 0/0 0 3 26 +12
L. Nance Jr. 28 7 11 2 3 0 1 3 2/5 0/1 3/4 4 7 24 +2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Randle 34 25 6 2 0 0 2 3 10/14 0/2 5/7 5 1 33 0
B. Ingram 25 14 2 1 2 0 1 1 6/14 0/2 2/3 2 0 19 -5
D. Russell 33 13 5 5 1 0 4 1 4/10 2/5 3/3 0 5 25 -5
J. Clarkson 30 12 3 6 0 0 1 0 5/12 2/6 0/0 0 3 26 +12
L. Nance Jr. 28 7 11 2 3 0 1 3 2/5 0/1 3/4 4 7 24 +2
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
T. Robinson 14 9 5 0 0 0 1 1 4/6 0/0 1/4 2 3 13 +4
C. Brewer 22 6 2 1 2 0 4 1 2/7 0/2 2/2 0 2 8 +2
T. Black 20 6 4 0 3 1 0 4 3/6 0/0 0/0 2 2 14 +2
T. Ennis 24 4 1 2 1 0 0 0 2/9 0/3 0/0 0 1 10 +5
M. World Peace 10 2 2 1 0 0 0 1 0/3 0/3 2/2 1 1 6 +3
N. Young - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Mozgov - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Zubac - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Nwaba - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Deng - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 240 98 41 20 12 1 14 15 38/86 4/24 18/25 16 25 178 +20