The Los Angeles Lakers somehow found a way to beat themselves down the stretch when they lost to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday afternoon.
The Lakers had a seven-point lead late in the fourth quarter but a gaggle of mistakes allowed the Trail Blazers to tie and eventually win the game off a Jerami Grant layup in the closing seconds. The loss drops Los Angeles to 0-3, and frustration is permeating throughout the organization and the fan base.
Anthony Davis, who is normally even-keeled following losses, was upset at the defeat and expressed his disappointment.
“We’re just not winning. There’s no way you’re supposed to lose this game. That’s where my frustration comes from,” Davis said after the game.
Davis turned in his best performance of the young season against Portland, recording 22 points, 10 rebounds, six blocks and two steals in 36 minutes. It was the type of two-way performance everyone invested in the Lakers was hoping to see out of the star big man, and he delivered albeit in a loss.
He chalked his performance up to just doing his job, clearly not wanting to gloat about an individual game after a tough loss.
“I’m just going out there and playing hard, doing whatever I can do to help the team win. Blocking shots, tip dunks, whatever. Just doing my job.”
Davis and LeBron James did everything in their power to try and will L.A. to its first victory of the year but a combination of poor late-game execution and coaching decisions robbed them of that. The most puzzling decision was when head coach Darvin Ham decided to put Russell Westbrook back in the game despite the success of the unit that was on the floor at the time.
As soon as Westbrook returned, the Trail Blazers were able to clog up the lane and muck up the spacing for the Lakers. However, the most glaring error came with Los Angeles up one when Westbrook decided to shoot a jumper for an ill-advised two-for-one opportunity.
Davis has every right to feel as frustrated as he does because the Purple and Gold should have won this game. Now, they face another brutal week of matchups and it’s fair to wonder when their first victory will come.
LeBron James ties Karl Malone for most 20-point games in NBA history
Every game, it feels like James ties or breaks another statistical record in the league’s history books. After scoring 31 points in the loss to the Blazers, James tied Karl Malone for the most 20-point games in NBA history.
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