NBA regular season

LeBron, Monk spark Lakers’ rally to overtake Kings

LeBron, Monk spark Lakers’ rally to overtake Kings

BIG BATTLE. Lakers forward LeBron James and Kings center Alex Len battle for the ball.

Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Lakers ride a strong finish behind LeBron James and Malik Monk to complete a comeback win over the Kings

LeBron James and Malik Monk combined for 55 points, including five three-pointers in a fourth-quarter rally that allowed the host Los Angeles Lakers to overtake the Sacramento Kings, 122-114, on Tuesday night, January 4 (Wednesday, January 5, Manila time).

James finished with a game-high 31 points and Monk had 24 as the Lakers won a third straight to open a five-game homestand.

De’Aaron Fox scored a team-high 30 points and Buddy Hield tallied 26 for the Kings, who lost for just the second time in their last five games.

The Lakers trailed 96-89 with 8:11 remaining before riding 14 points from James and 11 from Monk in a 33-18 finish. James hit a pair of three-pointers and Monk three as part of the flurry.

After James and Hield had split four consecutive lead-changing three-pointers, Monk and Tyrese Haliburton exchanged two-point hoops. Monk gave the Lakers the lead for good, 112-110, with a triple with 2:50 to go.

James then added a pair of baskets to increase the lead to six with 52.5 seconds remaining, and Los Angeles held on from there.

Monk wound up 6-for-11 on three-pointers for the Lakers, who won despite getting outshot 51.8% to 49.5% overall and 41-34 on threes.

Talen Horton-Tucker and Russell Westbrook added 19 points apiece for the Lakers, while Dwight Howard put up a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

Hield made seven three-pointers in 13 attempts to account for a majority of his 26 points.

Harrison Barnes scored 14 points and Damian Jones 11 for the Kings. Marvin Bagley III led Sacramento with 12 rebounds, while Haliburton amassed a game-high 9 assists to complement 7 points.

Playing their ninth consecutive game without Anthony Davis (sprained knee), the Lakers led 89-85 on Carmelo Anthony’s hoop in the first minute of the fourth quarter.

The Kings then made a run. Haliburton hit a three-pointer and Davion Mitchell scored twice from the interior in an 11-0 spurt that allowed Sacramento to equal either team’s largest lead of the game, 96-89, with 8:11 remaining. –