The Los Angeles Lakers lost consecutive games for the first time during the 2020-21 season, falling to the Detroit Pistons 107-92, who also were completing a back-to-back.
The Lakers were without Anthony Davis as he was unavailable due to quad contusion, and the team collectively looked listless on both ends. Offensively, Los Angeles was unable to get shots to go down, and defensively they had issues covering Blake Griffin and Wayne Ellington.
Head coach Frank Vogel took responsibility for the loss, noting he was forced to play lineups that have not spent much time on the floor together this season.
“I don’t know if we ran out of gas,” Vogel said. “We just didn’t have a great rhythm that second half in any way. We’ll go back, look at the tape and see where we went wrong. We didn’t have as much of a defensive disposition and that forced us to not get out in the open court.
“Playing without Anthony, we were just looking to find a rhythm with combinations that are not used to being out there. We just didn’t find it. We’ve been pretty good on the road, but tonight was definitely not our night.”
Vogel tried several different combinations throughout the night, opting to play Alex Caruso earlier and give Talen Horton-Tucker more minutes. The two were sparks for a rudderless Laker team, but ultimately the team faltered in the fourth where they failed to score over a six-minute stretch.
“We had plenty of firepower to win this basketball game,” Vogel said. “I’ve got to do a better job putting guys in the right spots to be successful and use our depth. We just didn’t get going in that second half.”
Normally it would be easy to worry about a loss to a bad team like the Pistons, but considering the circumstances and how good the Lakers have already shown they can be, it would be wiser to consider it a blip.
However, they do draw another tough test when they face off against rival Boston Celtics.
Vogel not concerned long-term about Lakers
Coming off a championship and shortened offseason, letdowns like the loss to Detroit should be expected over the course of a regular season. Vogel knows what the ceiling of his team looks like and emphasized he is not worried about them going forward.
“We’ll be fine,” he said. “You have nights like this in a long season. We’ll be fine, we’ll bounce back. None of us are happy with how we played, but we’ll bounce back.”
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