LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ben McLemore scored 24 points, Derrick Williams added 22 and the Sacramento Kings sent the Los Angeles Lakers to the worst record in franchise history with a 122-99 victory Wednesday night in both clubs’ season finale.
Ray McCallum had 19 points for Sacramento, which missed the playoffs for the ninth consecutive year. The Kings (29-53) finished with one more victory than they managed in each of the previous two seasons by sweeping a season-ending, two-game series with their once-mighty California rivals.
Jabari Brown scored 32 points for the Lakers, who dressed only eight players for the final game in their 21-61 season. That’s the worst in the 16-time champions’ history by both losses and winning percentage. Los Angeles lost eight of its final nine games.
Sacramento led comfortably throughout the final three quarters at Staples Center under the gold championship banners hanging high above the court while a truncated Lakers roster filled with castoffs and journeymen finished up the year.
Los Angeles is missing the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1976, capping the worst two-year stretch in the club’s 67 NBA seasons. The Lakers’ .256 winning percentage is worse than the previous franchise low of .264 posted by the 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers, who went 19-53.
Rookie Jordan Clarkson and Wesley Johnson were the latest Lakers to sit out with injuries, which have already sidelined nine Los Angeles players for the season.
The starting backcourt for the franchise that once suited up Jerry West, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant was Brown and Blue, two recent free-agent signees with 24 combined games of NBA experience.
Blue played all 48 minutes in his home debut for the Lakers, who signed the guard out of the D-League two days ago.
The Lakers missed 339 man-games to injury this season, blowing away last season’s record 319. Seven injured Lakers — Bryant not among them — watched their eight healthy teammates from the bench, dressed like pallbearers at the final outing for the worst team ever to wear purple and gold.
Kings: David Stockton played his second NBA game, getting five points and seven assists in 20 minutes. He is just 15,798 assists shy of tying his father, John, atop the NBA career leaderboard. ... Sacramento went 11-19 under new coach George Karl, who is expected back in the fall to continue the rebuilding effort. ... The Kings played without Omri Casspi, who sat out with gastroenteritis after scoring 26 against the Lakers on Monday. Sacramento already shut down stars DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay for the season.
Lakers: Brown joined Bryant as the only player to score 30 points in a game this season. ... Los Angeles lost its last three meetings with Sacramento this season, losing its season series with the Kings for just the second time in a decade. ... The Lakers began the week guaranteed to finish with the NBA’s fourth-worst record and roughly an 83 percent chance of keeping their first-round draft pick, which will go to Philadelphia if they finish the draft lottery outside the top five.
Kings: Season mercifully over.