All good things must come to an end and in the Los Angeles Lakers’ case, it was their 14-game road winning streak as they fell to the Indiana Pacers, 105-102.
Anthony Davis missed the contest as he nursed a sprained ankle he suffered in the win against the Atlanta Hawks and safe to say the Lakers could have used him as the Pacers were able to score in critical moments, most notably a Malcolm Brogdon layup that gave them the lead down the stretch.
With Davis out, Los Angeles bench stepped up to fill the void as Dwight Howard, Alex Caruso, Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley all did their best to try and help the team pull out a win in a tough environment. While they came up just short, it was encouraging to see that other players are capable of producing when one of their All-Star players is missing.
“We just kept our composure and we did that tonight, too… and we still had an opportunity to win the game. We just didn’t. So throughout the winning streak, we was able to keep our composure throughout adversity. Up or down, still being able to make a game out of it — which we did tonight — but sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way which is okay. But that’s how it is.”
There were several instances against Indiana where Los Angeles could have seen the game get away from them, but they were able to respond — particularly defensively — and keep it close. With the Lakers only down three after Domantas Sabonis missed one of two free throws, they raced up the court where Rajon Rondo unfortunately missed a deep three-pointer that would have sent the game into overtime.
Head coach Frank Vogel has done an excellent job of getting his roster to stay even-keeled during opponent runs and that is arguably the most impressive thing about this group. Their collective capability to stay in the moment and fight back has helped them earn some difficult wins and is a quality that only special teams really have.
Despite the loss, the purple and gold are still tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for the NBA’s best record but that will not last for long as they are slated to play each other next. In a potential 2020 NBA Finals preview, it will be interesting to see how the Lakers respond — with or without Davis.