The Los Angeles Lakers fell to the L.A. Clippers after an intense battle on Friday, which came to be decided by the very last possessions of the game.
Having lost a 16-point lead and chased the Lakers for the majority of the fourth quarter, the Clippers jumped back ahead at 103-102 with about a minute left on the clock.
After some 20 minutes of controversial video reviews and tactical mistakes committed by both sides, the Purple and Gold trailed by one needed a bucket to take the lead with just 18 seconds left.
The Clippers double-teamed LeBron James and the ball ended up in Carmelo Anthony’s hands during the deciding possession. However, his deep 3-point attempt came up short, effectively sealing the Lakers’ 32nd loss of the season.
Although head coach Frank Vogel thought Anthony might have had some time left to create a more promising chance for the Lakers, he said he trusted the veteran forward’s instincts.
“We knew they were going to double team,” Vogel said. “We move the ball around and attack. We should be able to get something great and Melo thought he had a clean look. He maybe had one more [pass]. I trust Melo in that spot, but we didn’t convert. Not good enough.”
The Lakers fell 2.5 games behind the eight-placed Clippers after the Friday loss, further minimizing their chances of reaching the playoffs without participating in the play-in tournament.
Anthony says he ‘didn’t have my legs underneath my’ on last-second miss
Anthony said his lack of game fitness contributed to missing the crucial shot in crunch time against the Clippers. The 37-year-old returned to the rotation on Friday for the first time since he injured his hamstring on Feb. 3.
“It is what it is. I’ll take that same shot any night,” Anthony said. “Tonight, it was just that moment where my legs weren’t underneath me on that particular shot. Overall, I felt like I was getting my legs back, getting my rhythm back as the game went on.
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