Lakers trip Kings, earn first win minus injured LeBron
Lakers trip Kings, earn first win minus injured LeBron
The Los Angeles Lakers gift LeBron James – who sat out for a third straight game – with a win on his 34th birthday



MANILA, Philippines – LeBron James got to celebrate his 34th birthday with a Los Angeles Lakers win – although he had to do it from the sidelines. 

The young guns stepped up as the Lakers hacked out their first victory minus the injured James in a 121-114 decision over the Sacramento Kings in the NBA on Sunday, December 30 (Monday, December 31, Manila time).

Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope all came through the final stretch to power the Lakers to an 18-4 closeout in the last 3:32 minutes of the game. 


James sat out for the third straight game due to a groin injury as the Lakers also had to do without veteran guard Rajon Rondo, who’s out for a month after undergoing surgery on his shooting hand.

Caldwell Pope paced the Lakers with 26 points against the Kings, who dealt them a heartbreaker just a few days ago when Bogdan Bogdanovic knocked in the game-winning triple at the buzzer.  (READ: Bogdanovic buries buzzer-beater as Kings rally past Lakers)


Hart delivered 22 points and 7 rebounds for the Lakers, who climbed to a 21-16 record. 

Ingram fired 21 points, highlighted by 7 straight points in the last 2:12 minutes – including the game-tying bucket and the go-ahead triple, 113-110. He also tallied 7 rebounds and 9 assists. 

Kuzma chipped in 18 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists in the revenge win. 


A steal and layup by Iman Shumpert put the Kings within 3 points, 115-112, but the Lakers responded with 6 straight points to cushion the lead in the final minute. 

De’Aaron Fox led the Kings with 26 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists.

The Kings, who slipped to 19-17, also had Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield scoring 21 points each. –

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