The Los Angeles Lakers ended their six-game road trip on a dispiriting note as they fell short against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday afternoon, finishing 2-4 overall.
Anthony Davis returned to the lineup and played well, scoring a 27 points, but it was not enough as the Lakers suffered too many defensive breakdowns in the fourth quarter. Trae Young had been relatively quiet for most of the afternoon before turning it up in the final period, including a dagger 3-pointer that sealed Los Angeles’ fate.
Head coach Frank Vogel revealed the Lakers had a plan in place to guard Young, but ultimately failed to execute down the stretch.
“I thought our guys really competed and locked into the game plan<" Vogel said. "We had a soft double team planned to guard Trae and we had too many breakdowns on it in the fourth quarter. He also hit a few bombs, hit that 30-footer when it was a one-point game, got a switch and dribbled out to the 3-point line and we left him in that situation. Just too many breakdowns in the fourth but our guys played with a pure spirit. Disappointed for them to not get this W because eI felt like they played well enough to win and I'm disappointed for them." It marks the second consecutive tough loss for Vogel and the Lakers after nearly coming back against the Charlotte Hornets. Vogel was disappointed with the results but focused on looking forward as a group. "State of the team is we played well the last two games and we fell short in the end. But we just got to get home and put this trip behind us. We didn't win as many as we wanted to win, we just got to put it behind us and get ready for the next game whether Bron is in or out." As has been the theme of the 2021-22 season, the Lakers' inconsistency throughout the full length of a game cost them a win they should have had. Los Angeles was leading by 10 heading into the fourth but an ill-timed offensive drought allowed Atlanta to climb back and ultimately snatch a victory. Sitting at 24-27, the Lakers continue to slip down the standings and games like these could very well come back to bite them as they try to stay out of the Play-In Tournament. Things should get better once LeBron James makes his return, but even then, the Purple and Gold have their work cut for them in the coming weeks.
Vogel proud Lakers did not come out with dud against Hawks
The Lakers have not done well in the earlier slates, so that coupled with the end of a road trip could have made for a poor showing. However, Los Angeles looked much more engaged for all four quarters and Vogel credited the team for making sure they fought until the end.
“Yeah, we’re under .500 so the margin for error is slim. We need every possession,” Vogel said. “I thought our guys were very engaged this afternoon, it’s the last day of a trip, a lot of times you see guys come out and have a dud of a performance, but that was not the case with these guys tonight. They brought it and built an 11-point lead against the hottest team in the league, one of the hottest teams in the league, No. 2 offensive in the league, and just a few plays short from getting a W.”
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