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Video: Lakers’ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope sinks a stepback from near midcourt to end the quarter

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lakers

Without LeBron James not in the mix for Tuesday’s contest against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Los Angeles Lakers needed someone to step up. That, someone, turned out to be Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who came off the bench and racked up a season-high 35 points. Three of those points came on a stepback of sorts to close out the third quarter.

When even that falls, it’s a good indicator that it’s your night.

Caldwell-Pope stroked eight made threes during the loss, firing 14 in total. He had been percolating off the bench over the over past four games, having got up at least six three-point attempts in each outing.

But even with Caldwell-Pope scoring from almost every conceivable angle, the Lakers fell again. They now sit at 1-9 in the month of March, sagging to 11th place in the Western Conference. It was just weeks ago that many expected Los Angeles to make their final playoff push, but the next news the club will get (likely in the coming days) regarding the playoffs, is that they have been officially eliminated from contention.

Caldwell-Pope was one of many who took a reduced role in the Lakers’ offense this season, having started all 74 games he appeared in with the team last year. Amidst trade rumors, Caldwell-Pope has seen his lowest minutes total (23.2 minutes per game) since his rookie season in 2013-14 and entered the night averaging 9.7 points per game.

It may not make up for the tumultuous season that the sixth-year sharpshooter has gone through, but at least he’ll have a weeknight in Milwaukee to hang his hat (shooting sleeve?) on.