The Los Angeles Lakers got back on the winning track Monday night, edging out a three-point victory over the Charlotte Hornets in overtime. Frank Vogel’s team was certainly happy to get a victory after dropping the last couple of contests, but the Lakers once again made things harder on themselves than it needed to be.
The Lakers led by as many as 14 points in the fourth quarter and by 11 with just over five minutes remaining but allowed the Hornets to come back and force overtime. Huge clutch plays from Carmelo Anthony and Anthony Davis would help the Lakers hold on in the extra period, and the victory did show the fight and resilience in this team.
The Lakers still have plenty of growing to do if they plan on reaching their potential and that is Vogel’s focus, regardless of the outcome of every game. “Yeah, well, we’re trying to remove the result,” the Lakers’ head coach said after the victory. “Each day we come in tomorrow and remove whether we won or lost and find ways that we need to improve and reinforce things that we’re doing well.”
“And situations like tonight while we’re figuring each other out and learning each other, sometimes there’s gonna be some nights where you win ugly and it would’ve been nice to hold that lead and win this one easy, but this league’s tough. Every team that comes in here is a good team and giving us their best shot and sometimes you’re gonna have to win ugly and we’ll take it.”
Holding on to leads has been a bit of an issue for the Lakers so far this season as both contests with the Oklahoma City Thunder are evidence of. This team has shown the ability to build big leads, but not the ability to hold on to them and have an easy night where Vogel can rest his superstars late.
In this contest, it was a zone defense from the Hornets that help them come back and working on attacking that zone is something Vogel plans to do with these Lakers. “It’s one of those where you got a new group and there’s a lot we need to work on and attacking a zone better than we did tonight is one of those.”
There are tons of little things that the Lakers must work to improve and doing so, and keeping the focus on those things as opposed to being satisfied because of te result of the game, should allow for overall improvement from the Lakers this season.
Anthony ‘taking advantage’ of opportunities with Lakers
Vogel may not focus on the results, but the Lakers were certainly happy in getting another victory and Anthony was a huge reason why. The veteran finished with 29 points on 7-of-10 from 3-point range and believes he is just taking advantage of the opportunities being created for him with the Lakers.
“I’m just taking advantage of it,” Anthony said. “I’m not thinking about it, just playing ball, catching and shooting. I’m not giving the defense a chance to get back out and close out. Just something that I’ve always worked on. People don’t see it, but I always work on that part of my game and you guys are actually seeing it more often now.
“I feel good, I feel like I’m in a great rhythm, feel like I’m just taking advantage of what’s out there on the offensive end. My teammates are believing in me and finding me and they’re leaving it to me to knock those shots down.”
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