The Los Angeles Lakers suffered what could easily wind up being their worst loss of the entire season as they blew a 26-point lead to the Oklahoma City Thunder, ultimately losing the game by seven. The Lakers had multiple chances to salvage the contest and possibly send it to overtime, but airballs on 3-pointers from both Malik Monk and Carmelo Anthony sealed their fate.
For Anthony, this was his second consecutive rough showing after an outstanding contest Sunday night. Anthony scored 13 points, but needed 14 shots to get there and hit just 1-of-8 from 3-point range, including that last airball. But the game should have never gotten to that point after the Lakers held such a commanding lead in the first half.
When asked what happened to allow the Thunder to make their comeback, Anthony tipped his hat to the opposition.
“I can’t pinpoint it at this moment,” Anthony Davis The momentum switched, quick, and it was a downhill spiral for us. They started getting confidence, they started making shots. They kept playing the same way the whole game. We had dead spots throughout the course of the game and they just played the same way. Played hard, played free, they attack the basket and they started making shots, they came back and won. So you got to tip your hat to those guys.”
Anthony went on to expand on what he meant by dry spots, which were a big problem for the Lakers in the second half.
“We just had moments where we wasn’t scoring the basketball. We got moving, we was turning the ball over. They was taking advantage of that transition threes and they just got momentum. They got momentum, they got confidence. Once you give a team like that confidence and give them momentum, it’s hard to slow them down.”
Oklahoma City does not have the talent on their roster that the Lakers possess, though Shai Gilgious-Alexander is one of the best young guards in the NBA today. But as Anthony said, they play hard at all times throughout the game regardless of what the score says and it paid off for them on this night.
But with another game on Friday, the Lakers will have to get right back on the court and because of that, Anthony believes the Lakers have to move on from this contest.
“Shoot, we got to leave it here,” Anthony said. “I mean, that’s a tough one to lose even though we was up 20 on the road. That’s a tough one to lose, but we’re gonna leave that one here. Get ready for Friday.”
Losses like these can sting for a team and have the ability to carry over into the next contest and Anthony does not want that to be the case for these Lakers. Things have already gotten off to a rough start for them, so if they plan on not letting things continue on a downward spiral, they will have to take Anthony’s advice and leave this game in Oklahoma City.
Anthony comments on his late-game airball
Despite how bad things got for the Lakers, they did still have multiple chances to possibly tie the game. The final one came after the Thunder completely failed to get the ball inbounds, throwing it straight to Anthony, who had a wide-open 3-pointer to even things.
But he would not only miss, but completely airball the shot and his explanation was a simple one.
“Yeah, it came right to me and I didn’t have full control there though. I tried to shoot it without having full control of it, my footing wasn’t right. I just saw daylight, once I seen that, I just saw the daylight, but I didn’t have full control over the basketball so I tried to shoot it without having full control over it.”
It was truly a situation no one, including Anthony himself, could have predicted he would be in at that moment and Carmelo likely rushed the shot. But for someone like Anthony, he will definitely be ready the next time that opportunity arises.
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