Talen Horton-Tucker’s form quickly dipped after the 20-year-old guard put on a show for the Los Angeles Lakers shortly after coming back from his thumb injury.
Horton-Tucker is averaging just 3.3 points, going 0-for-5 from beyond the arc over the last three games. The Iowa State alum’s numbers differ drastically compared to the 23.3 points and 40% 3-point field goal efficiency he registered in his three games of the season.
In Tuesday’s 1006-100 loss to the New York Knicks, Horton-Tucker ended up with zero points, failing to make any of his eight field-goal attempts. The guard was a team-worst -18 as L.A. went through ups and downs at Madison Square Garden, leading to another defeat this season.
“I was just talking to him, like when you got back Bron wasn’t playing so you were our second or third option scoring-wise,” Lakers All-Star Anthony Davis said.
“Now that he’s back and you’re in the starting lineup, you’re third or fourth [option]. And he has to figure out ways to score the basketball. Cutting or setting a pick to get a guy open, to get him open, the little things. That’s what you have to do.”
Horton-Tucker’s slump indeed coincided with LeBron James’ comeback. However, James served his one-game suspension against the Knicks and the young guard still underwhelmed offensively on Tuesday — even though head coach Frank Vogel tweaked the rotation to help him make an impact on the offensive end.
“It’s tough,” Vogel said. “We tried using him as a point guard instead of [Rajon] Rondo tonight in the minutes that Russ was out. I don’t know if that had anything to do with it. Again, we’ll have to look at the tape.
“I thought the two plays we went to the basket early in the game and got fouled and ended up missing the shot because the whistle didn’t blow. Sometimes that affects your confidence. I do know that he made some really great passes. Found guys for 3-point shooters and had four assists.
“Overall, played a decent game just didn’t finish. It’s just one of those nights for him. He’s going to be fine. We’ll look at the tape like we always do and learn from it.”
Davis describes illness that almost ruled him out of the clash with Knicks
The Lakers almost suffered another blow ahead of the clash with the Knicks. Davis fell sick with the illness nearly ruling him out of the Tuesday game.
Although L.A. said Davis didn’t suffer from COVID-19, the 28-year-old forward said he couldn’t leave the hotel until after his fever let up.
“I just woke up not feeling well,” Davis said. “Headache, flu symptoms really. Coughing, fever, body aching, everything and was just in the hotel waiting for my fever to break.
“It was a low-grade fever so you may be contagious or something, so I couldn’t leave until my fever broke. When my fever broke, I got in the car and shot straight here like 46 minutes, 48 minutes before the game clock. Did as much as I can treatment-wise, got dressed and went out to play and that was it. So that was kind of what the day was.”
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