SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Anthony Davis scored 25 points, Russell Westbrook added 23 and the Los Angeles Lakers overcame the absence of LeBron James to beat the Sacramento Kings 117-92 on Tuesday night.
The Lakers sent James home earlier in the day after he was placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocol.
But they got more than enough from their other two big stars and took over with a dominant third quarter to win back-to-back games for the first time since Nov. 8-10.
The Kings took a 66-52 lead early in the third before the Lakers outscored them by 27 points over the final 9:15 of the quarter to take a 13-point lead heading into the fourth. Westbrook scored 11 points and Davis had eight during the stretch, including back-to-back baskets that gave Los Angeles the lead for good.
Sacramento missed 17 of 18 shots from the field during a stretch that lasted into the fourth quarter. The Kings fell to 2-3 under interim coach Alvin Gentry.
Richaun Holmes scored 27 points on 12-for-13 shooting in his first game back after missing three with an illness. De'Aaron Fox added 17.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel said the team learned James had entered the health and safety protocol earlier on Tuesday and arranged for him to return to Los Angeles safely.
“Obviously, it’s a huge loss,” Vogel said. “It’s disappointing. We just want the best for him now. That’s where our thoughts are.”
James has missed 12 of the first 23 games this season for the Lakers because of injuries, a suspension and now this latest setback that should sideline him for multiple games. The team is 7-4 with James and 5-7 without him after the win over the Kings.
“We’re different now than we were three weeks ago or when that first time he went out was,” Vogel said before the game. “Hopefully we’ll have more success this time around.”
Lakers: Avery Bradley (right thumb sprain) also missed the game. ... Malik Monk hit a 40-footer just before the halftime buzzer to cut Sacramento's lead to 59-50 at the break. Monk finished with 22 points. ... Los Angeles turned the ball over eight times in the first quarter.
Kings: F Marvin Bagley (non-COVID-19 illness), F Moe Harkless (knee) and F Harrison Barnes (foot) all missed the game. ... Sacramento shot 55.6% in the first half and 28.6% in the second half.
Lakers: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.
Kings: Visit the Clippers on Wednesday.
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Josh Dubow, The Associated Press