The Lakers are starting 2022 off the right way with back-to-back wins. As LeBron James sealed the win against the Kings, he told their bench “I’m a motherf***in problem.” However, Crypto.com Arena was full of energy after the 122-114 victory.
James led the way with 31 points, five rebounds, and five assists. The King is thirty-seven years young and still playing at an elite MVP level. The four-time NBA champion played 36 minutes last night, and he said his work ethic helps him stay ready for those moments. Without Anthony Davis, everybody on the team has had to step up in some capacity.
The team was happy to see Talen Horton-Tucker get back to his normal self. THT had 19 points, six rebounds, and four assists in a big game. James said that it was phenomenal to see Talen have a big game. “I just told him to be yourself, and we’ve been missing that.”
According to LeBron, low turnovers and efficiency are why the Lakers got the win. “When we get shots at the goal, we can be very dangerous. Because we didn’t turn the ball over, we caught fire. Especially against a team like Sacramento, with one of the fastest guards in the league in DeAaron Fox. It was great to hold them to six fast breakpoints.”
Malik Monk is playing well in his role this season. James said he wanted Monk on the team last season after his complications in Charlotte. “Jason Kidd and I used to talk all the time and see if there is a way we can snatch Monk from their roster.” Finally, the Lakers could get him this past summer through patience and timing. He finished with 24 points, and James said they were lucky to have him.
Monk is averaging 20.7 points in the last six games, shooting 57% from the field and 46% from three. Monk noted he’ll always be ready regardless of who is available on the team. “I’m ready for the moments whenever it happens. We are short a couple of people, but when they return, I’ll be ready to still produce like I’m doing now.”
The Lakers are now 20-19 with three straight wins. Veteran Carmelo Anthony said the wins are attributed to getting teammates back from the health and safety protocols. “These past three games, you can see the different levels of play and level of focus that we play out there.” Melo mentioned LeBron is leading the way, which is nothing different from what we have been witnessing for the last 19 years.
Friday, the Lakers will face Atlanta at 7:00 PM.