LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James scored 16 points in his return to the Los Angeles Lakers lineup, but it wasn’t enough as the Sacramento Kings rallied for a 110-106 victory on Friday night.
James suffered a high right ankle sprain on March 20 against the Atlanta Hawks and missed the next 20 games, which was the longest absence of his career. He played 32 minutes and was 6 of 12 from the field. He missed what would had been a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds remaining as Los Angeles lost for the fifth time in six games.
The defending NBA champions went 8-12 without the four-time MVP and were also without Anthony Davis for 16 of those games.
Terence Davis scored 10 of his 15 points during the final 12 minutes for the Kings, who trailed 88-78 going into the fourth. The Kings outscored the Lakers 19-8 to start the quarter and take the lead. Los Angeles went nearly three minutes without a field goal in the period and struggled down the stretch, going 8 of 19 from the field.
Tyrese Haliburton led Sacramento with 23 points and 10 assists, and Richaun Holmes added 22 points.
Davis led the Lakers with 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Andre Drummond had 17 points.
James missed his first two shots from the field before making a driving layup with 1.9 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
A pair of Damian Jones free throws gave the Kings a 30-15 lead late in the first quarter before the Lakers started rallying. They went on a 19-4 run and tied it at 34-all in the second quarter on a hook shot by James. Los Angeles led by eight late in the quarter before the Kings went on a late run to get within 56-55 at halftime.
The Lakers outscored the Kings 32-23 in the third quarter and led by 11 at one point.
Kings: Marvin Bagley III took part in his first game since March 15 and scored 11 points in 21 minutes. He missed 22 games due to a fractured fourth metacarpel. … F Chimezie Metu took a hard fall to the floor during the second quarter and did not return due to lower back stiffness. … De’Aaron Fox was out for a fourth game since entering the league’s health and safety protocols.
Lakers: G Alex Caruso did some shooting drills, but missed his second straight game due to back spasms.
Kings: Travel to Dallas on Sunday.
Lakers: Host Toronto on Sunday.
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