The last couple of games for the Los Angeles Lakers resulted in some brutal outcomes, to say the least. The 17-time NBA champions are trying to clinch a playoff spot but continue to fall short in games they should win, like last night’s heartbreaking loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
The game was seemingly in hand for the Lakers late in the fourth quarter, as it appeared the team would take another step closer to being .500 on the season. But, unfortunately, the final stretch turned out to be disastrous for the purple and gold, resulting in a game-winning three-pointer by Maxi Kleber.
Following the team’s 37th loss of the season, head coach Darvin Ham spoke to the media at Crypto.com Arena and pointed out why it all fell apart in the final minutes.
“At the end of the day, NBA players are highly talented with an elite skill level, but it makes it more of an emphasis of why you have to control what you can control, and I thought we weren’t disciplined in certain stages,” Ham said. “We fouled. We had some really bad fouls fouling shooters. And also, we did the job we seek out to do every game, and that’s win the free-throw line. We got 31 attempts, but you’ve got to make more than 19. We make our free throws; we’re probably not having this conversation.”
Every Lakers player that got to the charity stripe a significant amount of times during the game against the Mavericks missed at least three of their attempts. Anthony Davis went 8-for-11, Austin Reaves went 6-for-9 and Wenyen Gabriel shot 3-for-6 from the line. Also, every player on the squad of the six that did go to the free-throw line missed at least one attempt.
Obviously, 61.3% as a team from the free-throw line will not get it done in a game that was decided by one point (111-110).
“We were aggressive, thus the 31 free throws, but you have to make more than 19,” Ham said. “And you can’t foul shooters. We had some really bad fouls throughout the game, but again, we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. As tough as this loss is, we’ve got to pick ourselves up and wipe off the dust and get ourselves out of the dirt and refill our cups up and try to get a win on Sunday.”
With this loss now in the rearview for the Lakers, the team will focus on Sunday’s game against the visiting Orlando Magic, followed by the final 10 regular-season games for Los Angeles.