A heartbreaking and disappointing triple-overtime loss to the Kings has the Lakers back below .500 at 10-11. It’s not the losses as much as it’s the nature of them.
The Lakers’ defeats seem to either be blowouts or games where they allow teams, not at their standard talent-wise, to come back from a double-digit deficit. In this one, they held their largest lead of 13 with just over nine minutes to go but over the final 9:20, they were outscored 27-14 despite the visitors missing key starters in Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes.
Going by their 4-0 record in overtimes this season, the Lakers would have ideally not minded playing some extra basketball but the Kings never went away.
“Just missed shots towards the end and they made some tough shots,” Anthony Davis said postgame. “We need to be able to play with a lead.”
It was a rough game for both Davis and LeBron James. The duo combined for 53 points but it came on 19-of-51 (37.3 percent) shooting from the field and a miserable 2-of-18 (11.1 percent) from long range.
James did also record 11 assists and seven rebounds but was not happy with his performance. He had finished with a plus-minus of -7 while Davis registered a -16, the two worsts from the squad.
“I feel like I played a horrible game individually,” James said postgame. “I hold myself to a higher standard than that. I know I got to be better for this team, especially with everything we’re going through.”
James even mentioned that the team was disgusted at all these losses.
In what was their first triple-overtime game in nearly a decade, rebounding and defence were key points mentioned by the players regarding their areas of improvement.
Through 21 games, the Lakers allow 48.3 rebounds and 11.5 offensive rebounds which rank 29th and 27th in the league respectively. In this game, they were outrebounded 56-51 by the Kings and allowed Sacramento to pull down 16 offensive rebounds.
“I’m not worried about the offense,” Davis said. “Defensively, we need to be better.”
Including the two losses to the Oklahoma City Thunder, where they also coughed up double-digit leads, the Lakers have now let go of three games that could have gone in the win column. AD believes the Lakers have the potential and capability to pull off multiple wins in a row.
“We’re the Lakers. We got a team that’s well put together that can win 10, 12, 15 games in a row. We can do it. We just got to want to do it. We got to commit on the defensive end a little bit more for a full 48.”
Through 21 games, the Lakers’ longest winning streak is three and those consecutive wins included back-to-back home encounters against the rebuilding Houston Rockets.