The Los Angeles Lakers came up short against the L.A. Clippers, failing to capitalize on their second-half surge to snatch a win.
The Lakers fell 16 points behind the Clippers in the second quarter but rallied back after halftime, hurting their opponents in transition. However, the Purple and Gold lost momentum during the chaotic end of the game that included a controversial, long review of an out-of-bounds call on LeBron James.
Carmelo Anthony then missed a 3-point attempt that would have tied the game in the final seconds, leading to the Lakers falling five games below the .500 mark again. It’s not the first time the Purple and Gold had a win snatched away from their hands this season, but Anthony doesn’t think the team’s performance in crunch time poses a problem.
“If you look back at a couple games last week, the Utah game we were down, came back and we pulled that one out,” he said. “Tonight, we were down, came back, had the lead and [Amir] Coffey made a free throw to put them up one and we wound up losing this game. It happens. It’s not something that I can pinpoint as far as why we lose the close games. On the other hand, sometimes we win the close games.
“I don’t think it comes down to the last 30 seconds or the last minute. The shot I even took, if I make the shot we win the game and we’re sitting here talking about something different. We dug ourselves a hole. We had to fight back after a long break. Fight your way back out of the hole down 15, down 16.
“That takes a lot out, especially early. But we crawled our way back. We had a chance to win the game. We had the game in our hands with a minute and some change to go. This is a game we’re supposed to win.”
The Lakers have played 35 games during which they were within five points from their opponents in the last four minutes of the game, the most in the NBA. They have won 17 of those matchups.
Although Anthony admits the Lakers have the tendency to “shoot themselves in the foot,” the 37-year-old doesn’t want to focus too much on the frustration that comes with it.
“I don’t like talking about the level of frustration. Yes, we want to win. It’s a game we should’ve won, but we sit after every game after every loss, we sit here and say what’s the level of frustration,” Anthony said.
“We’re shooting ourselves in the foot. It happened tonight it was a game like I said we were supposed to win. We had it in our hands. We go home and regroup. Tomorrow we go back in the gym practicing, look at film and see what happened.
“There’s no level of frustration. Maybe, but we don’t see it. I don’t see it. We don’t feel it. We know who we are. We know our potential.”
Frank Vogel ‘trusted’ Anthony to take last-second shot in loss to Clippers
Although head coach Frank Vogel thought Anthony might have had a few more seconds to come up with a better scoring chance for the Lakers in the last seconds of the loss to the Clippers, he said he trusted the veteran forward’s instincts.
“We knew they were going to double team,” Vogel said. “We move the ball around and attack. We should be able to get something great and Melo thought he had a clean look. He maybe had one more [pass]. I trust Melo in that spot, but we didn’t convert. Not good enough.”
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