With an opportunity to avenge a loss to the Detroit Pistons, the Los Angeles Lakers were sloppy and needed double overtime to eke out a win against a shorthanded team at the end of their road trip.
Although the Pistons were without Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose and Wayne Ellington, the Lakers allowed them to storm back from a 17-point deficit. LeBron James was the hero of the game as he nailed a stepback 3 in the final minutes to give Los Angeles enough breathing room.
The Lakers looked to be on the way to another easy win, but turnovers and a lack of focus on the defensive end gave Detroit enough chances to make it a game. Head coach Frank Vogel acknowledged Detroit’s 3-point shooting and the carelessness with the ball changed the tide, but he also believes the team is simply still dealing with fatigue from the road trip.
“I think our group is a little bit tired,” Vogel said. “Coming back from that trip we haven’t had a day off. I think we really need a day off. Like I said, we’re trying to re-commit to playing with pace. We were playing hard, we were just a little sloppy. We’ve just got to clean that up and continue to grow.”
Although the Lakers turned it up against the Denver Nuggets in their first home game back from the trip, it took them a half to get it going. Conversely, Los Angeles got off to a better start against Detroit but appeared to wear down.
The Lakers committed 23 turnovers and allowed the Pistons to shoot 16-of-42 from 3-point land. With a much-needed day off on the horizon, expect L.A. to look better when they play the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Vogel happy to finally hold practice
The road trip prevented Vogel and the Lakers from practicing, but the team was able to finally fit one in upon returning home last week.
“We were able to do a warmup and stretch on the soccer field across from our practice facility,” Vogel recently said. “We were able to get guys outside a little bit and feel that great SoCal weather.
“I think that’s always refreshing for guys’ minds. Got to get in the gym and worked on a few things. Didn’t want to overdo it but definitely great to get back in the gym and be able to teach and correct some things.”
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