LeBron James scored 14 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter, Malik Monk added 11 of his 24 in the final seven minutes, and the Los Angeles Lakers held off the Sacramento Kings 122-114 on Tuesday night for their fourth win in five games.
Talen Horton-Tucker scored 19 points for the Lakers, who rallied from a late seven-point deficit with one big basket after another from Monk and James. Monk hit six 3-pointers in yet another impressive offensive game, and Russell Westbrook added 19 points and drew a key late charge as the Lakers climbed back above .500.
Westbrook played 34 minutes in his first turnover-free game since March 14, 2016.
De'Aaron Fox scored 30 points and Buddy Hield added 26 with seven 3-pointers for the Kings, who scored 11 consecutive points early in the fourth quarter before wilting down the stretch. Harrison Barnes had 14 points for Sacramento, which had won three straight over the Lakers in Los Angeles.
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Tyrese Haliburton's jumper put the Kings up with three minutes to play, but Monk's 3-pointer and James' layup put the Lakers back ahead 114-110. Westbrook and James added layups in the waning minutes as LA held on.
Dwight Howard had a season-high 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers, who beat a Pacific Division opponent at home for the first time in six tries this season.
Looking visibly tired early on, James cooled off after an impressive multi-game shooting stretch that began before the holidays and included seven consecutive 30-point games before he only produced 26 Sunday against Minnesota.
James finished 12 for 26, warming up in plenty of time to carry the Kings to another win while they continue to search for continuity and teamwork near the midway point of a tumultuous regular season.
Kings: USC product Chimezie Metu went into the NBA's health and safety protocols earlier in the day, joining Richaun Holmes. Metu was one of the few Kings who didn't enter the protocols when Sacramento was at its most short-handed last month, and he hit the last-second 3-pointer to beat Dallas last week. ... G Terence Davis missed his fourth straight game with an ankle injury. ... Holmes missed his second straight game.
Lakers: Kendrick Nunn has yet to make his debut for Los Angeles due to a preseason bone bruise, but coach Frank Vogel said the mid-level exception signing is working out with Lakers coaches and getting closer to a return. Although Nunn will miss at least half of the regular season unless he returns this week, Vogel said the third-year NBA pro will play “a lot of minutes” when he's healthy.
Avery Bradley scored seven points in his final game for the Lakers before they must decide whether to allow the guard’s contract to become guaranteed for the rest of the season. The Lakers claimed Bradley off waivers while they were short-handed in October, and he surprisingly has been a rotation regular with 26 starts.
Kings: Host Atlanta on Wednesday.
Lakers: Host Atlanta on Friday.