LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored a season-high 26 points, Josh Hart added 22 and the Los Angeles Lakers won for the first time since LeBron James was sidelined with a groin injury, beating the Sacramento Kings 121-114 Sunday night.
Brandon Ingram added 21 points, including seven during the game-deciding run. The Kings led 110-103 with 4:30 remaining when the Lakers scored 12 straight points over a three minute span. Ingram hit a three-pointer with 2:13 remaining to give Los Angeles a 113-110 lead.
A steal and layup by Iman Shumpert brought the Kings within three, but Caldwell-Pope made a driving layup to make it a two-possession game.
De’Aaron Fox led Sacramento with 26 points, while Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 21 apiece.
It was the second time in four nights that the Kings and Lakers played. Sacramento won 117-116 on Dec. 27 on a three-pointer by Bogdanovic at the buzzer. That was the first game James had missed since injuring his groin during the Dec. 25 game at Golden State. The Lakers were 0-2 in James’ absence.
James, who was celebrating his 34th birthday on Sunday, arrived just after tipoff.
Sacramento led by four at halftime and was up 85-74 with 5:35 remaining in the third quarter before the Lakers scored 12 straight points to take the lead. Caldwell-Pope keyed the run with nine points, including a pair of three-pointers.
The Lakers’ lead lasted only 15 seconds, however, as Hield hit a three-pointer and the Kings outscored Los Angeles 11-6 over the remainder of the quarter.
Kings: Willie Cauley-Stein had 11 points and 12 rebounds. … Fox also had seven assists, marking the 29th game he has had five or more, which is the fifth-most in the league.
Lakers: Kyle Kuzma added 18 points and Lonzo Ball 13. … JaVale McGee scored eight points in his first game since Dec. 15. The 11-year center had missed seven games due to a respiratory infection. … Hart’s 17 first-half points is a career-high, surpassing the 16 he had in the first 24 minutes against Memphis on Dec. 8.