The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t lead ever for even a second in the 124-104 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves after another slow start to the game.
L.A. shot 6-for-21 and didn’t make a three on any of their 10 attempts from deep in the first quarter, which ended with a 31-17 Timberwolves lead. From then on, the clash followed a familiar scenario: the deficit ballooned to over 20 points, the Lakers cut it down to single digits late, but they ran out of time and gas to claim a win.
However, Frank Vogel saw improvements in his team’s play compared to recent losses.
“I thought the effort was a lot better in the first quarter than the last two,” Vogel said. “LeBron [James] wanted to send us home and I thought he did come out and laid it all out there and set a great tone for our group. We just couldn’t put the ball in the basket. Zero for 10 from three again and that just puts us behind the eight ball.
“We’re going to continue to work on shot quality and figure out a way to put the ball in the basket.”
Vogel added the Lakers created some good looks against Minnesota but failed to turn them into points. “There were a couple contested, but most of them were really good,” the head coach said.
“We shot 4-for-23 on open threes for the game. They shot like 7-for-11. Sometimes it comes down to makes and misses. I was pleased that we had better effort tonight than we did the last two games.”
Also, Vogel said the Lakers are still figuring out why they shoot the ball better once they fall behind — suggesting the players might be putting too much pressure on themselves to fix their aim.
“Tough to put your finger on it,” he said.
“You can speculate as to what it is. Our guys really want it. We really want to turn this around. Guys are putting in the work. There’s a high-care factor, so maybe they’re putting too much pressure on themselves to start the game, but we just got to figure it out.”
James thinks teams are ‘daring’ Lakers to shoot threes
James said other teams take advantage of the Lakers’ poor aim, claiming they are “daring” L.A. to shoot the ball.
“We got to make shots, it’s that obvious. Teams are daring us to shoot the ball from outside and we’re not making them,” James said.
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