The Los Angeles Lakers looked like they could have possibly stolen a win on Wednesday night, but ended up faltering late against the Milwaukee Bucks, losing 112-97.
The Lakers opened up the game on fire from beyond the arc as they nailed eight 3-pointers in the first quarter, setting a season-high for most threes made in a single quarter. However, things quickly changed in the second quarter as Milwaukee made a more concerted effort to run Los Angeles off the 3-point line and funnel them into the teeth of their defense.
Things did not get better in the second half for the Lakers with them continuing to struggle to get anything going against a set Bucks defense, while the latter had no issues scoring on the other end. Kyle Kuzma offered the same assessment, noting that the team had opportunities to put themselves in a position to win but he personally needed to be better in the second half.
“It just tailed off. I think we just played a little bit of a different style from the first to the second half. I think I need to be better. I think in the first half, I did a really good job of being on the ball and setting guys up, setting the table,” Kuzma said.
“Then in the second half I didn’t really do that, I kind of became an off-ball shooter so I think being more assertive and getting guys involved, I think that was the No. 1 thing from the first half I could do better.”
However, Kuzma did add that the Lakers should be able to win some games moving forward if they are able to replicate their first-quarter performance.
“We just got to play like we did in that first half. I think we played really well, everybody shared the ball and we got quality shots. In the second half we took a lot of difficult shots, a lot of end-of-the-shot-clock shots, a lot of just tough midrangers. So that’s just what areas we’ve got to address.”
With Anthony Davis and LeBron James still dealing with injuries, the Lakers will need to do everything they can to scrape together victories so they can stay afloat in the standings. Hitting open jumpers is the clearest path to doing that, but Los Angeles has shown that they are prone to dry spells without James on the floor.
After hitting eight threes in the first, the Lakers only managed to hit two more during the rest of the game on 23 attempts. That kind of cold shooting will not get it done, so hopefully that percentage increases when they take on the Sacramento Kings this Friday.
Kuzma hopes Andre Drummond is available against Kings
Andre Drummond made his Lakers debut and while he looked impressive, he was unfortunately unable to finish the game after injuring his toe. Kuzma gave an update on his new teammate and hopes he will be available for Friday’s game.
“He’s doing alright. He got his toenail ripped off so I can’t imagine that feels super great and comfortable on the court. Hopefully he can go Friday.”
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