After an important win, it is completely normal for teams to suffer a letdown given the physical, mental, and emotional toll in their following game.
That was the case for the Los Angeles Lakers as they dropped a tight 104-102 game against the Brooklyn Nets just two days after their impressive win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Lakers took control in the first quarter against the Nets, playing tough defense and getting quality looks on the offensive end. However, the Nets then controlled the pace of the game and ultimately pulled out the win despite a late fourth quarter run from Los Angeles.
“It was the way the play was drew up. I had an opportunity to break down the defense and either look for my shot or find a teammate. We had a great look, a great opportunity to win the game and we just missed it. That’s what the game is about. Sometimes you take the good… it’s a make or miss league at times but we had a hell of a look,” James said.
“It didn’t matter who was over there. AD… he stepped up, took it, missed it, but that’s OK. If Kuz is over there, KCP, Danny, whatever the case may be, the same pass would have been delivered on time and on target and we’ll live with the results.”
The ball was inbounded to James who then drove into the paint, drawing help from the defense which allowed him to whip a pass to Davis along the wing for the game-winning three. Although Davis missed it, it was most likely the best look they could have gotten in that situation and one that most players would happily take given the circumstances.
It was clear for most of the night the purple and gold were still trying to find the extra gear they showed in their statement wins against the Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks. The Nets were shorthanded with Kyrie Irving out for the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season, but their remaining players did an excellent job of moving the ball and scoring just enough to edge out the upset.
Despite the loss, the Lakers are still in a great position going forward and should finish the season with homecourt advantage throughout the 2020 NBA playoffs unless they meet the Bucks. That kind of advantage may go a long way in determining their championship pursuit.