The Los Angeles Lakers squandered a late fourth-quarter lead to lose 106-104 against the Portland Trail Blazers and remain winless in 2022-23.
The Lakers led by eight points with under five minutes left on the clock, but Portland went on a 16-6 run to close the game and managed to leave L.A. with a win. During that stretch, the Purple and Gold allowed the Trail Blazers to make six of their nine field goal attempts — half of which came from Damian Lillard, who scored 10 of his 41 points during the late comeback push.
The Lakers answered with just three buckets on nine attempts, missing all of their four 3-pointers. After the game, Patrick Beverley said both offense and defense were to blame for the disappointing loss.
“Obviously, shot selection value. But you know, I’m a defense guy, so I think we could do a better job against stops at the end,” Beverley said.
“They made some tough shots, they made some shots that we want them to take. I think Jerami Grant got on the curl, a double-pump layup. You don’t want to tip your hat to anybody, obviously. We come out here and compete and try to win every game. But you gotta give them a lot of credit. They wanted it more and they showed it.”
However, Beverley said he isn’t feeling frustrated over the Lakers’ poor start to the 2022-23 season.
“Nah, I’m not frustrated. I’m living the dream,” the 34-year-old Lakers guard said. “I get to wake up every day and come talk to you guys on camera. Every day above six feet of the dirt. I’m living the dream.”
LeBron James agreed that the Lakers could have done more on both ends of the floor to get their first win of the game. However, he appeared to be visibly more upset about L.A.’s shot selection, and not just in the late phase of the game.
“Shot selection is always a part of the game no matter if it’s the last couple minutes of the game or the first two minutes of the game,” the Lakers All-Star said. “You want to play the right way. Always, no matter what the time and the score is. You should always be understanding of what’s the best shot you can get every possession.”
James refused to comment on Russell Westbrook’s shot selection specifically after the guard went 4-for-15 from the field and took a questionable mid-range jumper in the last minute of the loss to Portland that came right before the Blazers regained the lead.
Darvin Ham looks at positives from Lakers’ loss to Trail Blazers
Head coach Darvin Ham wanted to focus on the positives after losing to the Trail Blazers, praising the Lakers’ defense and overall effort from his players.
“I don’t feel depressed or anger because we competed and we have 79 more games left,” Ham said.
“Tonight, we played well for a large portion of the game. With a 48-minute game, you just got to look at it on film and see what went right and see what went wrong and just move on. Deal with it, learn from it and get better.”
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!