In a game that likely determined the seventh seed and a play-in tournament appearance, the Los Angeles Lakers unfortunately came up short against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Each Laker played hard defensively to make up for the lack of scoring, while Anthony Davis resembled the elite two-way talent that was present during their championship run. However, it was a rough night for Kyle Kuzma, who had one of his worst shooting performances of the 2020-21 season.
Kuzma finished with a paltry four points on 2-of-11 shooting including 0-of-6 from deep. Despite the dismal outing, Kuzma was not discouraged with how he played. “I had good shots, they just didn’t fall,” Kuzma said. “It’s a make or miss league, I’m still confident. They didn’t fall tonight, that’s all.”
The forward also explained how things fell apart for the Lakers in the final minutes against the Blazers. “I think we did a good job of competing tonight,” Kuzma said. “I think that was the number one thing that we did that wasn’t available from the Clippers game.
“I think they did a great job just continually beating the double teams that we had, Dame, whether that was him hitting the side and playing on the roll or just making the pass and swing, swing to the corner. Those type of things, they did a great job of countering what we were trying to do defensively.”
It was tough to see Kuzma miss on what were mostly great looks from the field, but he was right to take them given how Portland was defending Los Angeles. Kuzma had an excellent night against the L.A. Clippers the game before, so it stands to reason that he will bounce back.
Kuzma disagrees with goaltending call
There were several calls that did not go the Lakers’ way in the fourth quarter. Kuzma was robbed of a dunk after the officials ruled the ball was still over the cylinder and he noted that he thinks it should have counted but was not in a position to argue.
“Just the heat of the moment, hectic environment, the ref just made a decision of what he kind of saw in that moment,” explained Kuzma.
“I definitely thought that it was definitely off the rim. But the ref didn’t and he called it how he called it. That’s just what it was, you can’t argue with it now or you can’t argue in the moment. Once the ref calls something that’s usually what it is whether it’s right or wrong. The refs are the law of basketball.”
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