Lodi News-Sentinel

Richaun Holmes overcomes hardships to lift Sacramento in win over Lakers


Richaun Holmes has experience­d tough times on and off the court while dealing with personal and profession­al hardships over the past couple of years. On Wednesday night in Los Angeles, Holmes got to remember what it’s like to experience a moment of triumph.

Holmes temporaril­y lost his son during an ugly and bitter custody battle with his ex-wife and then lost his starting job when the Kings made a blockbuste­r trade to acquire Domantas Sabonis from the Indiana Pacers. After starting 136 games over two-plus seasons in Sacramento, Holmes was relegated to a backup role and eventually fell out of the rotation.

The Kings called on Holmes again

Wednesday when Sabonis was ruled out due to illness. The 29-year-old center came up big, producing a double-double in a dramatic 116-111 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at Crypto.com Arena. Holmes finished with season highs of 16 points and 11 rebounds while going 7 of 7 from the field to help the Kings win their fifth game in a row to move into a tie for third place in the Western Conference.

“It’s just a great opportunit­y to still call myself a profession­al basketball player,” Holmes said while sporting the team’s defensive player of the game chain. “Still get an opportunit­y, go in the gym, work out every day, continue to try to get better, even when things aren’t going as good as I want them to. You still have an opportunit­y, and I just wanted to continue to work, continue to the put the effort and energy behind it, and the rest will take care of itself. I was happy I was able to contribute tonight, happy we were able to get a win as a team, and it’s a very, very good win tonight.”

De’Aaron Fox scored 31 points for the Kings (25-18), who moved seven games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2004-05 season. Harrison Barnes had 20 points and six rebounds. Kevin Huerter added 18 points and eight assists while Keegan Murray, who has been challenged to become a better rebounder, finished with 10 points and a career-high-tying 10 rebounds.

LeBron James had 32 points, eight rebounds and nine assists for the Lakers (20-25). Russell Westbrook came off the bench to post 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

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