There is no doubt the Los Angeles Lakers will be happy to be back at Staples Center on Friday night against the New Orleans Pelicans.
LeBron James finished with 36 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists while Lonzo Ball had another strong performance with a season-high 23 points and knocked down five three-pointers. Unfortunately, the Lakers just couldn’t overcome cold shooting and defensive breakdowns for much of the night as they fell to the Brooklyn Nets, 115-110. The Lakers ended their road trip with just a 1-3 record.
Shooting and defense were once again major issues for the Lakers. After starting 5-of-6 from deep, they hit just three of their next 22 before getting hot late. And with starting center JaVale McGee out once again with flu-like symptoms, the Lakers had no rim protection, allowing for easy layups as they went small for much of the night.
Ball dueled with former Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell for much of the first quarter and the Lakers used an 11-0 run to take the lead in the second. But Brooklyn ended the first half on a 13-3 run to go into the locker room ahead by five.
Things didn’t get any better for the Lakers in the third quarter as a Brooklyn 12-0 run gave them their biggest lead of the contest at 14 points before James took over. A late three brought the Lakers within five, but another defensive breakdown gave Brooklyn a wide open dunk to snatch momentum back.
A late run gave the Lakers a chance as James and Ball hit some late shots from deep to bring the Lakers within a basket, but Jared Dudley and Russell answered every time to put things away for the home team.
Kyle Kuzma added 22 points and 11 rebounds, but the rest of the team combined for just 29 points total.
The Lakers will return home on Friday night to host the New Orleans Pelicans and hope to get some of their depth back as both Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo could return.