Lakers’ LeBron James Gets Honest About Anthony Davis, Kings’ De’Aaron Fox

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

As the clock struck zeros on the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the Sacramento Kings on March 6, LeBron James was already long gone. The damage had already been done in the eventual 130-120 defeat.

Sacramento got a big game from star point guard De’Aaron Fox, who finished with a game-high 44 points.

He scored 24 points in the second half as the Kings erased a 19-point Lakers first-quarter lead.

“They have a lot of shot-making, they have a lot of space, and that allows De’Aaron to play through 45, which is through the elbows,” James told reporters after the game on March 6. “His speed … not too many guys that can keep him, in front of him. And he’s had our number for quite a while now. He plays exceptionally well versus us, and tonight was another one of those nights.”

Even with Fox’s outburst, James pointed to teammate Anthony Davis picking up a questionable second foul in the first quarter for the Lakers’ downward spiral defensively.

The whistle came with less than 90 seconds remaining in the frame.

“[The lead] evaporated when AD picked up his second; that simple,” James said. “When you have someone like that, that controls so much of our defense, when he picked up his second in the first quarter and we had to make the sub, our defense kind of just flubbed after that.”

Los Angeles held a 37-19 lead at the time. But the Kings used a 9-0 run to close the first quarter and a 31-11 run in total to take the lead at just under the six-minute mark before halftime.

LeBron James Name-Drops Former Teammate After Costly Loss to Kings

LA trailed by 14 points when James exited, the 21st-year superstar name-dropped former Lakers teammate Malik Monk as a key reason why.

“They tempo, they pace. They made a sub, we made a sub. Malik Monk came in, made a big impact. Davion Mitchell made a big impact when they came in, and they changed the game as a complete 180.

“I mean I made the three, we came back out, we had a great defensive possession. Malik hit a three at the end of the clock, we come back down, I hit Jax [Jaxson Hayes] with a pocket pass – I thought that was just a natural move by him – call offensive foul, the challenge. So now down 15.

“I thought if we could have got that stop, maybe cut it under 10 at that point, we could have rode that momentum a little bit more. But it was a couple plays that affected us, for sure.”

LeBron James Clears Air on Early Exit

James exited the game with roughly five minutes to go, making his way back to the Lakers’ locker room. It is not the first time James has left the court early, particularly after a costly defeat such as this. But the 20-time All-Star shed some light on the reasoning behind this specific instance.

“I’ll be all right,” James said.

“It was just my ankle,” James continued. It was just what I been – what I deal with before the break, after the break. Just managing as best way I can. Played the whole third. Sat a little bit to start the fourth. And when I got back in, it kind of just [flared up], whatever. It’s just something I just been dealing with.

“Some games is better than others. Didn’t feel it at all versus OKC. And I didn’t feel it at all into the fourth quarter tonight. So it’s just each game, each day is different.”