Extra Pass: LeBron probable for Lakers-Kings match

Published January 4, 2022, 4:00 PMRenee Ticzon

Armed with back-to-back wins, the Lakers are looking to extend their streak as they face the Kings for the third time this season.

The Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers are fighting their way to secure a play-in spot at the very least. Catch their next game live at 11:30 AM on NBA TV Philippines via Smart GigaPlay app or Cignal TV.

The first time the Kings and Lakers met, it ended with an emphatic triple-overtime. The second time was a statement 25-point victory in favor of the Lakers. You never really know what you’ll get when these two teams are on the floor, so expect the unexpected for Wednesday’s game.

The Kings are looking to start a winning streak after a close win against the Miami Heat. Buddy Hield scored a team-high 26 points off the bench, while De’Aaron Fox led the starters with 24 points. Fox also hit a pair of game-winning free throws that kept them on top with six seconds left.

Sacramento's win against Miami snapped a four-game losing streak on the road. It also showed that despite their low ranking, the Kings are capable of keeping up with top contenders. They held onto the lead for the majority of the first half, even pushing the gap to as many as 11 points. 

Granted, Miami was not at full strength with Bam Adebayo and a load of other players out, but that’s no longer an excuse at this point of the season. The Heat still had Kyle Lowry and Jimmy Butler on the floor, so the Kings can feel good about this win.

Meanwhile, the Lakers will try to keep the ball rolling after a two-game winning streak. LeBron James has been an absolute beast for the Lakers since late November, though he’s listed as probable against the Kings due to an abdominal strain.

L.A. opened 2022 with a win against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Timberwolves tried to mount a comeback and came as close as three points in the last three minutes, but the Lakers’ veterans muscled their way to victory.

James, Malik Monk, and Russell Westbrook all cracked the 20-point mark. James stuffed the stat sheet with 26 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals, and one block. 

Westbrook, on the other hand, finished with decent numbers of 20 points, three rebounds, and five assists, though he went 0-of-5 from beyond the arc. Why he’s still chucking 3s is a mystery to most Lakers fans when he’s clearly more effective when he gets closer to the basket. Not only that, Westbrook also committed nine turnovers. 

“My game is not predicated on shots or if I turn the ball over. I'm allowed to miss shots. I can do that, like any other player. … I can turn the ball over too,” Westbrook said postgame. 

Nobody’s saying that Westbrook is not allowed to miss shots or commit turnovers, but he does need to pick his shots and take care of the ball better for the Lakers to continue winning, especially with Davis still out and LeBron playing through his injury.