LeBron James had another triple-double despite an off-night shooting, Anthony Davis scored 21 points and the Los Angeles Lakers thumped the Sacramento Kings 129-113 on Saturday, their first win since the death of Kobe Bryant.
James had 15 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds while helping Los Angeles end a two-game skid. James shot 6 of 15 and missed three of four 3-pointers but made up for it with his 11th triple-double of the season and the 92nd of his career.
Avery Bradley added 19 points, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 15 and Rajon Rondo had 13 points and eight assists.
De’Aaron Fox scored 24 points and Buddy Hield had 22 for Sacramento.
The Lakers were playing the second half of a back-to-back, one night after an emotional 127-119 loss to Portland at Staples Center in their first game since Sunday’s helicopter crash that killed Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others.
During the first timeout less than four minutes into the game, a video of both Bryant and Gianna playing basketball was shown on the giant scoreboard as members of both the Lakers and Kings watched. The numbers 8 and 24 flashed on the court as Bryant’s voice echoed through the building.
Tributes continued to play throughout the game as fans – many wearing Bryant’s jerseys – repeatedly chanted his name.
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A memorial wall with pictures of Bryant and Gianna was set up outside one of the main entrances to Golden 1 Center. Fans scrawled messages on the wall and left flowers.
Inside, the Lakers did their best to move forward following the tragedy that left the entire organization reeling.
They scored 44 points in the first quarter, made 14 3s and dished out 26 assists before halftime, dominating the Kings on both ends while building an 81-64 lead.
James capped a fast break with a two-handed dunk in the second quarter that drew roars from the crowd, then made a long bounce pass to Caldwell-Pope for a layup. James followed that with another dunk, and Rondo added a 3-pointer.
The Kings got within 108-93 early in the fourth quarter before the Lakers pulled away. James had a 3-pointer, Rondo scored twice and Caldwell-Pope made three free throws.
Lakers: Los Angeles finished with 33 assists. … The 81 points in the first half were a season high. That also matched Bryant’s career high for scoring. … Bradley had 16 points with four 3s in the first half. … Kyle Kuzma scored 12 points.
Kings: Eric Mika had six points and seven rebounds in his NBA debut. Mika, who had been with Stockton of the G League, was signed to a 10-day contract earlier in the day.
Lakers: Host the Spurs on Tuesday. Los Angeles has won both games against San Antonio this season.
Kings: Play the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday.