Frank Vogel ‘Trusts’ Lakers’ Rotations & Defensive Instincts Despite Crunch Time Errors Against Clippers
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers chased the L.A. Clippers throughout the game on Friday but eventually fell 119-115 to their Staples Center co-tenants — failing to take the lead even once during the night.

Although the clash was a close contest from the very first second, the Clippers managed to build a double-digit lead twice in the second and third quarters. Both times, the Lakers tied things up or made it a one-possession game on both occasions but never completed their comeback.

The Purple and Gold had plenty of opportunities to take the lead in the final period but either their turnovers or the Clippers’ 3-point shooting prevented them from jumping ahead of their local rivals.

However, head coach Frank Vogel thinks that overall, the Lakers’ defense functioned well on Friday.

“We trust our rotations,” Vogel said. “We feel really good about our ability to get the ball out of somebody like Paul [George]’s hands and scramble around the perimeter and get to their shooters. We were just a step late. We had one breakdown where we left Luke [Kennard] open in the corner and a couple others where AD got a great contest on guys.

“They made tough shots, but we trust our rotations in those situations.”

Vogel admitted the Lakers’ aggressiveness in trying to steal the ball from the Clippers hurt them on Friday. But the coach said he trusted his players’ instincts to reach for the ball when an opportunity presents itself.

“Tonight was just one of those nights where we didn’t get them and it ended up hurting us,” Vogel said.

Vogel also pointed out that poor play execution on the offensive end in key moments of the game contributed to the loss.

“That’s just part of where we’re at with our season,” Vogel said. “We’re a team working to build cohesiveness and getting over that hump.”

Anthony Davis praises Luke Kennard’s shooting against Lakers

Clippers guard Luke Kennard tortured the Lakers with his 3-point shooting, often hurting them right when they came close to taking the lead. Kennard ended the night 5-of-8 from beyond the arc, scoring 19 points in total on Friday.

Anthony Davis pointed out that unlike L.A., Kennard delivered in crunch time — which eventually decided the result of the game.

“It’s just little things that just didn’t go our way,” Davis said.

“They came down and made some tough shots – Luke Kennard, mainly. We had our chances. We just tried to keep fighting and get over the hump and we weren’t able to get over the hump tonight.”

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