Lakers vs Kings: Malik Monk kicks Russell Westbrook out of LA’s “Big 3”

Jan 4, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) and Sacramento Kings center Alex Len (25) battle for the ball in the first half at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 4, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) and Sacramento Kings center Alex Len (25) battle for the ball in the first half at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers /

Don’t look now but the Los Angeles Lakers went into their matchup with the Sacramento Kings looking to extend their winning streak to three games. The Lake Show survived a serious challenge from the Minnesota Timberwolves without their best two players in Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell with a huge run late in the last five minutes. Despite Lake Show Life’s warnings that the small ball lineup wouldn’t be a long term solution…

LeBron James was back in the starting lineup at center but the philosophy did not last the whole game… thank goodness.

The last time these two teams played, the Kings went into the locker room at halftime with the lead. In the second half, the Lakers beat on Sacramento so badly that Kings’ head coach, Alvin Gentry, actually apologized for his team’s performance and stated that they deserved a better performance. While Lakers Nation wonder what team is going to show up each night, at least Frank Vogel doesn’t have sound bites like these after a loss…

"“If anybody needs me I’ll be at home drinking.”"

Well after a very questionable call late by the officials that turned into a jump ball, coach Gentry might be even more distressed. The Los Angeles Lakers allowed another second rate team to hang around for four quarters, but they eventually beat the Sacramento Kings 122-114. They now have a three-game winning streak for the third time this season with the Atlanta Hawks coming to town on Thursday. Better hope Trae Young isn’t still hot.

The good from the Los Angeles Lakers’ win:

So let’s see here…Dwight Howard is a big body that can rim protect and bang with centers. What a revelation!

The staff of Lake Show Life fully realizes that most of the damage Dwight Howard can bring to himself is self inflicted.

  • Yes…he fouls players out to 30 feet.
  • Yes…he gets tangled up needlessly drawing flagrant and technical fouls.
  • Yes…he does lose focus at times on defense and drop easy passes on offense.  

But when he is focused and gets major minutes on the floor, he can really hurt opposing teams’ front lines. The Lakers were getting beat up on the boards before Vogel had no choice but to put him in the game. He exploded scoring points at the rim in the pick and roll and hitting the offensive boards.

In the first half alone, Dwight had 12 points (5-8 shooting!), 8 rebounds (4 offensive!) and a steal that led immediately to a fast break bucket from LeBron. Dwight finished with a double-double, collecting 14 points and 14 rebounds (7 offensive!).

Dwight Howard can turn into a “Dwightmare” at times and that is a foregone conclusion, but Frank Vogel needs to do a better job of reading the room when it comes to Dwight being able to contribute from night to night. If this Dwight shows up, let him play. If he doesn’t, then hand him one of the best seats in the arena to observe and think about his future.

Talen Horton-Tucker started to get on a roll after struggling for weeks!

Lakers fans seem to forget that Talen Horton-Tucker was one of the many players that was out with COVID-19. That’s a serious situation here folks. It took him a while to get his conditioning and rhythm back after playing a couple of good games immediately when he returned.

THT looked very good in the first half of this game scoring 13 points off the bench (6-8 shooting!) with 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. Here’s what is huge in this scenario. He was in control and played within the offense instead of putting his head down and getting himself in trouble in the paint.

THT finished with 19 points (9-13 shooting!), 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals.

To the fans that want this guy traded…get over it and leave this guy alone. How’s Kyle Kuzma doing these days in Washington after all of that complaining about his play? Just saying…