The Los Angeles Lakers found themselves in another close game Wednesday night against the Sacramento Kings. Despite another excellent game from LeBron James, the Lakers once again came up just short, falling by five points and dropping their fourth game in the last five.
Unfortunately, this has become something of a theme for the Lakers, especially recently. More often than not, the team has a chance to win the game down the stretch, but for some reason or another can’t quite finish things off. Their last three losses have come by a combined 10 points and LeBron James believes it is a case of the team simply having no room for error with the pieces they are missing right now.
“We’re definitely a ballclub that has zero room for error,” LeBron said after Wednesday’s loss. “Tonight, although we played a pretty good game, I mean, we only had, once again, seven turnovers. nine turnovers in two games. That is amazing. You know, we didn’t get to the free-throw line as much as we could have, but we played pretty good basketball. We did give up almost 20 second-chance points. Yeah, actually 20 on the dot. Most of those came in first quarter and first half. But we don’t have much room for error. We are limited with bodies.”
James makes some sense as the Lakers did take care of the ball and got 59 points from the bench. But no starter other than LeBron scored in double-figures as the Lakers star finished with 32 points, but the other four combined for just 20. Additionally, the Lakers were out-rebounded by 11 which plays into those second-chance points that James talked about.
LeBron feels like had a couple of bounces gone the Lakers’ way, the result would have been different. But until the team is healthy, they will struggle to overcome those unfortunate breaks.
“And so, until some of our big guys or our key guys get back and you know, it’s been a problem for us this year with AD and AR and Lonnie [Walker Jr.], guys that are huge in our rotation,” LeBron added. “We have to continue to play how we played the last couple games. Try and play mistake-free basketball.
“But I mean you’ve seen a few of the looks tonight. A few of the De’Aaron Fox shots, they hit the rim went up, hit the rim a couple of times and they went in. You see Max [Christie] a couple missed threes, they circled around the rim and went out. Just sometimes the game of inches as well just like football.”
Darvin Ham discusses what cost Lakers the win vs. Kings
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham also pointed to some of the same things James mentioned as why the Lakers came up short against Sacramento, particularly the rebounding. Though Ham also mentioned late-game fouling and indecisiveness offensively as costing the team.
“I think two of the key ingredients to us not coming out with the W,” Ham said. “We gave up too many second-chance points early on. There was a time we came out with a great rhythm offensively and defensively, for that matter. We just allowed them too many second and third opportunities. Giving up 10 offensive rebounds, and I think it was 16 points in the first half, and then that went down to four.
“And then, late in the game, our fouling. Not being disciplined showing our hands all the way through the possession. That was pretty tough as well. And we got up against the clock a little bit, a little too much indecisiveness in terms of either shooting the ball, passing it, or driving it. Just being able to make those quick, split-second decisions. We kind of struggle with later down the stretch.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!