Bogdan Bogdanovic’s 3-pointer at the buzzer led the Kings to a 117-116 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night at Golden 1 Center. Here are three takeaways from the game:
Going for the win
The Kings had the option: Try to force overtime or go for the victory with a 3-pointer. They chose the latter.
Coming off a timeout after Lakers forward Brandon Ingram missed a free throw that would have put the Lakers up by three, coach Dave Joerger put the ball in Bogdanovic’s hands.
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The second-year guard had to take a few dribbles and his step-back 3-pointer over the outstretched arm of Lakers center Tyson Chandler gave the Kings their third win in a row at Golden 1 Center.
“I said, ‘Bogi, you’re going to get it right here. Knock this in,’” Joerger said. “I think he’s a big-game player.”
Bogdanovic led the Kings (19-16) with 23 points off the bench.
The Kings lead the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring. They needed another strong final period to secure the win.
Sacramento trailed 95-84 after three quarters and fell behind by 15 with 6:44 left. But for the third consecutive home game, they erased a double-digit deficit.
Bogdanovic had 12 points in the period, while De’Aaron Fox and Justin Jackson each scored six.
The Kings scored 33 points in the fourth to increase their league-leading average to 29.6 per game.
A first against California rivals
The Kings had played five games against teams in California and lost them all. They dropped two each to the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors and one to the Lakers.
For much of Thursday’s contest, it looked like the Kings could fall to 0-6 against their in-state rivals, even with the Lakers (20-15) playing without three starters, including forward LeBron James. Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma scored 23 points in the first half and guard Lonzo Ball flirted with a triple-double.
Kuzma finished with a game-high 33 points but shot just 2 of 6 in the final period. Ball exited with less than two minutes left due to calf cramps and just missed the triple-double with 20 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds. Ingram scored 22 points but will likely think about how missing out on a 23rd proved costly.
The Kings can look to make it a streak against California opposition when they meet the Lakers on Sunday at Staples Center.