The Lakers lost their third straight game on Monday night in Oakland as they fell to the sixth seeded Warriors 109-103. However, when you look at the final score or the fact that Kobe Bryant had 36 points, it doesn’t tell the true story of the game.
The Lakers had a dismal first half. They didn’t share the ball and fell back into a lot of the bad habits on both ends of the court from earlier this season. The Warriors came out as the aggressor and they fed on the Lakers’ miscues and weaknesses.
The Lakers failed to play with consistency and was forced to play catchup in the second half in order to erase a 25-point deficit. The Lakers began to play with urgency, made consistent stops and finally had some buckets go in during the closing stretch of the game, but it was too little too late.
Kobe Bryant remained quite calm in his post-game interview after the disappointing loss, saying (per Dave McMenamin of ESPNLA):
“I don’t think it’s time to get emotional,” Bryant said Monday after the Lakers lost 109-103 to the Golden State Warriors, extending their losing streak to three games. “We got to just maintain our poise and just think about, [from an execution standpoint], what are we going to do. We got to look at what teams are doing against us in terms of spreading us out and rolling a big and now we collapse and now we’re late to the shooters.”
“This is about the third game in a row where that’s happened to us,” he said, “so we got to figure out defensively what we’re going to do. Not really get overly emotional, but we just got to look at what’s going on and make adjustments.”
Kobe is choosing to remain focused on how to make those adjustments to become the team that showed improvement and had success in the several weeks following the All-Star break. As the leader of the team, Kobe will study film and figure out the correct game plan to use going forward to return to their recent winning ways.
The Lakers have 11 games left of the regular season, and now are only one game above .500. Further, the Utah Jazz are only one game behind the Lakers for that eighth seed, with the Dallas Mavericks looking to become a threat for the final playoff spot as well. Therefore, these adjustments must come very quickly as the Lakers have practically zero margin of error to play with.
The Lakers continue their road trip in Minnesota on Wednesday, which is the first leg of a back-to-back for the team.