The Los Angeles Lakers traveled to take on the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday at the Barclays Center, as the Lakers looked to end a seven-game losing streak.
Los Angeles was coming off a game it would like to forget, as after leading the Sacramento Kings by nine at halftime, they were outscored by 26 in the third quarter and ended up losing 116-92 in the first of their seven-game road trip.
The Nets were without point guard Jeremy Lin Wednesday, who after returning from a back injury in their last game against the Dallas Mavericks, sat this game out to rest the back.
The Lakers starting guards D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young continued to work their way back from their injuries, as they were both playing in their third consecutive game with their minutes increasing in each.
The Nets potentially received some more bad news early, as just a minute into the game Lin’s replacement, Isaiah Whitehead bumped into Lakers center Timofey Mozgov, forcing the Nets to call a timeout. He ended up being ok though and stayed in the game.
With the teams tied 4-4 two minutes into the first, Nets center Brook Lopez drained a three-point attempt, something he has added to his game in recent years to put his team in front 7-4.
Russell, who had the best game of his career last year against the Nets when he scored 39 points, picked up three fouls in the first seven minutes of this game without scoring a single point.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton made his substitutions early in this one as tied 16-16 he subbed in Jordan Clarkson, Lou Williams, Larry Nance Jr. and Brandon Ingram, leaving Julius Randle the only starter on the floor.
After a Clarkson turnover just under the three minute mark, Randle was called for a clear path foul as he fouled Bojan Bogdanovic on a breakaway. He made both free throws and then former top overall pick Anthony Bennett made a put-back layup to give Brooklyn a four-point lead at 25-21.
Brooklyn followed with another basket, but the Lakers closed the first quarter on a 9-0 run, including a buzzer-beating bank shot by Clarkson to give them a 30-27 lead at the end of one quarter.
Mozgov led the Lakers with eight points and six rebounds on 3-of-4 shooting in the quarter.
The Lakers scored the first three points of the second quarter to get the run up to 12-0 before Rondae Hollis-Jefferson broke the run by making one of two free throws.
Walton reinserted his starters, including Russell who had three fouls, with just under seven minutes remaining in the first half with his team ahead 37-35.
After Sean Kilpatrick drained a three to put the Nets back ahead, Russell got fouled on a midrange jumper and made one of two free throws for his first point of the game to tie it up.
A three by Trevor Booker, followed by a layup by Lopez put the Nets up by five with three minutes left in the quarter causing Walton to call a much-needed timeout.
The Lakers struggled offensively for much of the second quarter, as they converted of just 4-of-18 field goals. Williams hit a runner with just a few seconds left in the quarter to break a run of almost nine minutes without making a field goal.
Kilpatrick responded by hitting a three at the buzzer though to give the Nets a 52-43 lead at the half. Kilpatrick and Lopez led all scorers with 10 points each while not a single Laker was in double figures in the first half. Los Angeles had just three assists on 17 made field goals.
After Russell hit a three to begin the second half, Bogdanovic drew his second clear path foul as Luol Deng tripped him up. He converted on one of two free throws.
Kilpatrick converted on an and-one layup to stop a bit of a run by the Lakers with just under nine minutes remaining in the third, but Russell quickly answered with a three to cut the deficit to 56-53.
Russell drew a foul on the Lakers next possession and once again could only convert on one free throw. The foul was charged to Whitehead and was his fourth, so he was replaced by Spencer Dinwiddie.
Deng, who has been playing his best basketball as a Laker the past few games, energized the Lakers by hitting a three and then coming up with a steal and finishing a fast break layup to bring the Lakers within two midway through the third quarter.
After Deng missed a pair of free throws on the next possession Young got the offensive rebound and drained a three and the Lakers regained the lead. Nance Jr. then came up with a steal and found a running Young for a dunk to put the Lakers up by three.
Bogdanovic immediately connected on a three out of a timeout though to stop a 10-0 Lakers run and tied the game up at 65.
Nance Jr. helped end the quarter in a big way for the Lakers, dunking on Lopez and the Lakers led 76-75 through three quarters.
While everyone was still talking about Nance Jr.’s dunk, Bogdanovich quietly scored five straight to begin the fourth quarter to put the Nets back up by two.
The offense that was missing in the first half picked up at the end of the third and early in the fourth, as both teams exchanged buckets for a while, and after a pair of free throws by Williams the Nets lead was 87-86 just two minutes into the fourth.
A steal and a nice spinning layup by Clarkson gave the Lakers the lead back, but the Nets answered immediately with two layups of their own to go back up by three. The Nets outscored the Lakers 16-12 in the first three minutes of the final quarter.
Clarkson connected on put-back layup after being blocked, and then found a cutting Nance Jr. who finished a baby hook shot on the next possession and the game saw another lead change, this time with the Lakers jumping back out in front. That lasted all of 10 seconds though as they gave up a layup on the next possession.
Then four straight points by Lopez and a three by Whitehead put Brooklyn up by eight with just under five minutes remaining in the game causing Walton to call a timeout.
The Lakers starters were the unit Walton went with out of the timeout, and a couple possessions in Russell drew a foul on Whitehead, which was his sixth and final foul. He made both free throws to cut the deficit to six.
The Lakers missed five straight shots though, four from three-point range, and found themselves trailing 104-96 with just over a minute left.
They didn’t have a comeback attempt left in them after a timeout, as the Nets ended the game on a 12-3 run and hung on for a 107-97 victory. Bogdanovic led all scorers with 23, followed by Kilpatrick 22 and Lopez with 20.
Williams once again led the Lakers in scoring off the bench with 16. All nine Lakers that played had at least six points, and six of them reached double figures.
Los Angeles has a day off tomorrow before facing the Philadephia 76ers, Friday at 5 p.m. Pacific time.