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.