The Los Angeles Lakers hit another low point in their 2021-22 season with a 132-111 loss to the L.A. Clippers. Not only was it their fourth straight loss since the All-Star break, but it was also their fourth loss to the Clippers this season and the seventh loss in a row to their Crypto.com Arena co-tenants.
Thursday night’s performance was especially frustrating for Frank Vogel. After moments of spirited defense in the second half of the Dallas Mavericks loss — and in the final minutes before halftime — the Lakers fell apart in the third quarter.
The Clippers went on a 23-0 run that essentially ended the game midway through the third frame. And while Vogel has witnessed plenty of lackluster effort this season, none felt more disappointing than Thursday night.
Vogel understood that the Clippers have simply been a better team, but felt disappointment for Lakers fans. “It’s harder for me because I know our fanbase wants to win this ‘Battle for LA’ and that the fans embrace,” Vogel said. “So I’m disappointed for our Lakers fans for that, but at the end of the day, they’re a Western Conference team that beat us four times. It doesn’t matter that they’re in the same city.
“Credit them. They played great. Reggie Jackson played out of his mind tonight. Credit them and the shooting that they have on their team is very difficult to defend. So credit them for winning that series, but yeah, it is more difficult.”
With the loss, the Lakers dropped to eight games below .500 and essentially threw away any chance they had of climbing to the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. It now appears extremely likely they’ll have to win two games in the Play-In Tournament.
Now, Vogel has to figure out how to pick up the pieces. Luckily, the reeling Lakers will face the reeling Golden State Warriors in their next outing. Perhaps both teams being down on their luck will give L.A. some confidence.
But suffering a second-consecutive season series sweep to the Clippers has to feel worse than an average loss. And while the first three games were close, the Lakers simply had nothing to fight back with in the fourth game of the season series.
The way this season has gone, it’s almost difficult to find a new rock bottom. However, the Lakers made it pretty easy to spot on Thursday night.
LeBron James admits Clippers have been better
James kept things short and simple when asked about how the Clippers have compared to the Lakers this season.
“They’ve been a better team,” James admitted.
“Coming into the game, we knew how great of a 3-point shooting team they are. You give them multiple looks and they’re going to knock them down. We gave them too many open looks and then once the open looks started going in even the contested ones started going in, too. They’re a great shooting team and it’s also another win for them.”
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