The Los Angeles Lakers head to the Golden 1 Center to take on the Sacramento Kings in a battle of the Pacific Division’s bottom teams.
Los Angeles is 21-20 on the season and they are currently in 7th place in the Western Conference team standings. If the Playoffs began today, they would need to win in the play-in tournament just to play in the postseason. The Lakers are coming off a 127-119 loss to the Grizzlies.
The Kings are the bottom team in the Pacific Division at 16-27. Right now, the Kings are in 12th place and out of both playoff and play-in contentions. However, Sacramento is only one game behind the 10th seeded Blazers. The Kings have lost five in a row, including a 109-108 defeat to the Cavaliers the last time out.
These teams have played thrice this season with LA winning twice, including a 122-114 victory just last January 4th.
Los Angeles came up short against Memphis the last time out and saw their five-game winning streak end. Despite that, LeBron James had another big game with 35 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists. However, he was the only starter to score in double-digits as his support came from the bench with Wayne Ellington and Austin Reaves each putting up 16 points and Talen Horton-Tucker adding 13.
The Lakers rank 5th in the entire NBA in scoring at 112.0 points per game this season. They are 13th in rebounding at 45.4 boards grabbed per contest and are 10th in passing at 24.6 assists per game. Los Angeles ranks 27th in scoring defense at 112.5 points per game allowed.
The Kings are in a funk right now with five straight losses. In their last game, Sacramento saw a late rally come up short against Cleveland. Tyrese Haliburton had a big game with 21 points and 8 assists while Buddy Hield added 19 points. Harrison Barnes contributed 14 points while De’Aaron Fox scored a dozen points for Sacramento which has lost a season-worst five straight games.
Sacramento ranks 13th in scoring at 108.9 points per game this season. They are 20th in rebounding at 44.3 boards grabbed per contest and 24th in passing at 22.6 assists per game. The Kings have the third-worst scoring defense in the league at 113.6 points per game allowed.
The Lakers are 4-1 SU in their last five games played. Los Angeles is 7-9 SU in 16 road games played this season, and 2-8 SU in their last 10 games against the Pacific Division. The Kings are 0-5 SU in their last five games played. Sacramento is 10-14 SU in 24 home games played, and 0-5 SU in their last five games played in January.
Head to head, the Lakers are 6-4 SU in their last 10 games played.
Los Angeles is 5-5 SU in their last 10 games played and are scoring a scorching 116.3 points per game during that span. LeBron James is playing at a high level right now and L.A. has won five of its last six games played. However, defense continues to be an issue for Los Angeles with their opponents averaging 112.7 points per game, 27th overall. In their last game, the Lakers conceded 127 points in their last game against Memphis.
Without the Sacramento big guys in Holmes and Thompson, LeBron James should be able to do what he did last January 4th. Unless the Kings get better on the boards here, the Lakers should be able to get more chances to score, leading to more points for them. It won’t be an easy win as usual for the Lakers but they should be able to get the job done here.
Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games played. Los Angeles is 4-0 ATS in their last four games against an opponent with a winning percentage of .400 or below, 4-1 ATS in their last five Wednesday games, 4-1 ATS in their last five games against an opponent with a losing straight up record, 5-2 ATS in their last seven games after scoring more than 100 points in their previous game, and 5-2 ATS in their last seven games when their opponent scores 100 or more points in their previous game.
The Kings are 1-4 ATS in their last five games played. Sacramento is 1-4 ATS in their last five games against the Western Conference, 19-39 ATS in their last 58 games when playing on one day rest, 1-4 ATS in their last five games after allowing more than 100 points in their previous game, 1-5 ATS in their last six games after an ATS win, 0-4 ATS in their last four games when their opponent allows and scores 100 points in their previous game, and 0-4 ATS in their last four games after scoring 100 or more points in their previous game.
Head to head, the Lakers are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games played against the Kings. Los Angeles is also 5-0 ATS in their last five games played in Sacramento.
Both these teams rank in the bottom half in defensive rating. However, the Kings are worse at a 113.3 adjusted defensive rating while the Lakers are at 110.3. Given that the Lakers are the better scoring team this season, I think these stats are enough to prove Los Angeles is going to pick up the win.
The Lakers and Kings played in a close game last January 4th with the Lakers using their experience to pull away down the stretch for the 8-point win. I think this will be another well-fought game but with Sacramento just 20th in securing the rebounds, the Lakers will get more opportunities to score. You just can’t give that to a team loaded with plenty of scoring options.
Prediction: Lakers -2.5
The total has gone over in four out of the last five games played by the Lakers. The over is 5-0 in their last five games after an ATS loss, 4-0 in their last four games after a straight-up loss, 4-1 in their last five games after allowing more than 100 points in their previous game, and 4-1 in their last five games when their opponent scores and allows more than 100 points in their previous game.
The total has gone under in four out of the Kings’ last five games played at home. The under is 9-3 in their last 12 games against the Pacific Division, 4-0 in their last four Wednesday games, and 4-1 in their last five games at home against an opponent with a losing road record. The over is 11-5 in their last 16 games when playing on one day rest, and 34-16-1 in their last 51 games against an opponent with a winning record.
Head to head, the over is 2-1 in the last three meetings between these two teams.
Both teams play at a fast-paced style with the Lakers ranking 2nd in possessions per game at 100.8 and the Kings at 9th with their 99.2 possessions per game. The Lakers have scored 119 or more points in four out of their last five games played, including 122+ points in three. Meanwhile, the Kings’ defense has allowed over 110 points six times in their last 10 games played.
These teams have combined to score an average of 230.4 points per game in their last 10 head-to-head meetings, including 241 points per game in their last three. The Lakers and Kings combined for 236 points last just last January 4th and that’s the type of game we’ll be seeing again on Wednesday night.
Prediction: Over 230.5
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