Los Angeles Lakers Had No Answer For DeMarcus Cousins
The Los Angeles Lakers received a strong effort from Lou Williams but it was not enough to overcome DeMarcus Cousins and the Sacramento Kings.
Cousins essentially single-handily defeated the Lakers on Tuesday night. The Kings were able to pick up a 97-96 victory, their fourth in a row, and Cousins was the driving force behind it.
Cousins dropped 40 points on the Lakers, making 13-of-24 from the field, making 2-of-7 from deep and 12-of-19 from the foul line. The Lakers knew that Cousins would be the focal point of the Kings attack but they still had no answer for him.
Cousins didn’t only score; he stuffed the stat sheet. He pulled down 12 rebounds and handed out eight assists to go with two steals and one block. Cousins did commit six turnovers, but he more than made up for them with how well he played on the night.
The Lakers clawed back into the game in the fourth quarter, tying the score at 96 with 30 seconds left. Cousins would hit the game-winning free throw with nine seconds remaining, the 10th consecutive point he scored for Sacramento to close out the game.
While getting the win was nice, Cousins admitted that it was a sloppy finish for his team.
”It was lousy basketball down the stretch,” Cousins said. ”We took a step backwards in the fourth quarter. We got too comfortable and made plays that aren’t in our character. Quick shots and turnovers down the stretch is only going to help them. In our case it gave them some momentum and we almost lost it.”
A lot of that momentum was caused by reserve guard Lou Williams. Williams did his best to will the Lakers to a victory with his fourth quarter performance.
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Williams scored 19 of his team-high 29 points in the fourth quarter, knocking down three three-pointers–the last two of which each tied the game.
Williams also added four assists and two steals in the fourth quarter, as he had it going on both ends of the court.
Williams’ performance in the game was praised by Kings’ head coach Dave Joerger.
”Lou Williams is a hired-gun professional scorer, heck of a player and had a terrific game and really gave us fits,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said.
Williams had a chance to win the game with a running jump shot at the buzzer. It fell short, giving the Lakers their fourth loss in the last six games. Their record falls to 19-38 on the season, as the Lakers look ticketed for another high lottery pick.
Despite another loss, Williams believes there is optimism to be taken from the game.
”We’re playing with better purpose,” he said. ”I think guys understand it’s a bad taste in your mouth to lose consistently. We’re starting to grow up in that area. I’d like us to play well enough for fans to understand we’re a work in progress.”
The Lakers played well enough to win against the Kings Tuesday. But, it was also clear that they are a team that is still a work in progress. They have a lot of young players that are still feeling their way out around the NBA.
The future is bright for the Lakers, and there will be bumps along the road. Tuesday was another one of those bumps and should be used as a learning experience as they grow together.