Explaining Lakers’ First-Quarter Woes, Frank Vogel Says Offense Put L.A. ‘In Tough Spot’ In Recent Games
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive ineptitude cost the Los Angeles Lakers in another game, leading to a 114-103 loss against the Toronto Raptors on Monday.

L.A. fell 30-6 behind right out of the gate, eventually finishing the opening quarter with 12 points — its lowest first-quarter tally of the season. The Lakers managed to cut the lead down to single digits late in the fourth period, but they ran out of time to try and pull off a comeback.

Similarly, the Purple and Gold suffered from a slow start when they fell 140-111 to the Phoenix Suns the night before — allowing the No. 1 team in the Western Conference to outscore them 48-22 over the first 12 minutes of the clash.

Head coach Frank Vogel said the Lakers paid a price for their poor offensive execution over the last two games.

“Just another slow start,” Vogel said. “Second game in a row and really during this stretch it’s been one quarter. It’s been the second quarter or the third quarter. The last two games it’s been the first quarter. Just can’t put the ball in the basket and when you’re not making shots and they’re getting the live rebound or a live-ball turnover, it’s tough to set your defense.

“I think our effort was good to start, but like I said, our offense has been putting us in a tough spot.”

Vogel said the Lakers took too much time to figure out how to deal with the Raptors’ defense in addition to misfiring from good scoring positions.

“Like any case, you can show them the pressure that they play with all you want on film,” the head coach explained.

“It takes a little time to actually get it and feel it and get used to it. You want to be able to hit the ground running, but it’s a unique defensive style that you’re going against. It speed us up some and what they want is they want to pressure, they want to speed you up and they want to force you into tough decisions.

“I think we had a few possessions like that and a few possessions where we moved the ball and got great looks and missed.”

Also, Vogel said the Lakers keep working on their tendency to fall into large deficits during games.

“Trust the offensive principles that we’re talking about to generate good shots,” he said. “The ball security with a handful of tough shots are forced possessions combined with not making shots on the quality possessions is just putting us behind the eight ball. We’re just working through that.”

Russell Westbrook & Talen Horton-Tucker don’t know why Lakers dig themselves into a hole early in games

After the loss to the Raptors, Russell Westbrook and Talen Horton-Tucker couldn’t explain why the Lakers fall far behind their opponents early on during games.

“I’m not sure. I don’t have an answer for you on that one,” Westbrook said.

And Horton-Tucker added: “I really don’t know.”

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