The Los Angeles Lakers needed another overtime to beat the Dallas Mavericks on a frantic Wednesday.
L.A. has played in six overtime games this season, the most in the NBA. But the Lakers have actually played eight extra periods due to the triple-overtime thriller against the Sacramento Kings in November, which they lost 141-137.
The loss to Kings has been the only instance when the Purple and Gold didn’t defeat their opponents when the game went beyond regulation this season. Head coach Frank Vogel thinks his team’s 5-1 record in overtime suggests it fares well under pressure.
“It’s a good sign of how we execute in crunch time,” Vogel said. “Because all of overtime is basically crunch time. I know they talk about last two minutes and whatnot, but if you’re playing an extra period, that’s a crunch time atmosphere. To know that we perform well in those situations does give us confidence in what we can be.”
There are potential downsides to playing extra basketball in games so frequently. The Lakers’ players clock in 246.9 minutes per game this year, the most in the NBA. Meanwhile, L.A. also owns the only roster with an age average higher than 30.
Meanwhile, Carmelo Anthony said earlier this season he feels occasional tiredness due to the increased minute count he registers this year compared to last season.
Lakers rumored to sign Isaiah Thomas to 10-day contract if hardship exception approved
Not only does L.A. play a lot of basketball this year but also have been severely impacted by injuries and the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Five players have been quarantined this year, with Malik Monk being the only Laker to test out of the protocols.
To lessen the burden of playing with a decimated roster, the team is reportedly planning to use the NBA’s hardship exception and if approved — to reunite with Isaiah Thomas in the coming days.
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