LeBron James finished with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists Sunday night, notching his eighth triple-double of the season, as the Los Angeles Lakers snapped a five-game losing streak by taking down the visiting Sacramento Kings 111-106.
James said afterwards that he will “not cheat the game” and continue to play hard no matter how poorly things have gone this season.
Kyle Kuzma caught fire in the third quarter, scoring 21 of his 29 points on 7-of-8 shooting.
Per The LA Times:
“I’ve always respected the basketball gods,” James said. “If I’m on the floor I’ve got to try to play as hard as I can, or do something to affect the game and not cheat the game, so if I’m on the floor, if I’m in uniform, then I’ve got to try to make things happen. Not saying I’m going to make every shot, not saying I’m going to make every play or not have any turnovers, but just try to make an impact on the game.”
The Lakers played without Lonzo Ball (ankle sprain), Brandon Ingram (blood clot), Josh Hart (tendinitis) Mike Muscala (tendinitis) and Reggie Bullock (plantar fasciitis). And while little was at stake in the grand scheme of things, there were small moments for the players who did play to celebrate.
JaVale McGee followed up his career-best 33-point, 20-rebound game by scoring 17 points, making all eight of his shots, with 14 rebounds.
“It’s just nice to feel good,” coach Luke Walton said. “I mean the guys work really hard, they do. They’ve been working really hard on this last road trip. They’ve been working really hard when we do bring them into practice, though we’re down in bodies. We’re on them all the time about working to a certain standard. That’s physically and mentally tough at this point in the season when you’re out of the playoffs.”