The Los Angeles Lakers have not been an above .500 team since January of the 2021-22 season, so most fans viewed their game against the Houston Rockets as the perfect opportunity to finally get there. However, the Lakers came out incredibly lackadaisical on both ends of the floor and it cost them a much-needed win over one of the worst teams in the NBA.
The loss to Houston ruined almost all of the goodwill Los Angeles built up the night before when they won a pivotal game against the New Orleans Pelicans that gave them an important tiebreaker. After the defeat, Los Angeles now sits in 10th place with just a half-game lead over the Utah Jazz and Pelicans.
A large reason why the Lakers lost to the Rockets is because the team decided to hold out Anthony Davis who has yet to be cleared for any back-to-backs. Darvin Ham explained that they are still monitoring and erring on the side of caution when it comes to his stress injury, but the timing couldn’t have been worse considering how bunched up teams are in the standings.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks were able to pull of a tightly contested win over the San Antonio Spurs despite missing several key players including Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. At 35-35, Dallas is tied with the Minnesota Timberwolves who lost a close game to the Boston Celtics at home.
Los Angeles only has 12 games left in the 2022-23 season and they absolutely cannot afford to have any more letdowns like they did against Houston. Friday night is one of their most important games to date as they take on the Mavericks who they don’t have the tiebreaker over.
Lakers standings update
5. Clippers (37-33)
Upcoming schedule: vs. Magic (March 18), @ Trail Blazers (March 19), vs. Magic (March 21)
6. Warriors (36-34)
Upcoming schedule: @ Hawks (March 17), @ Grizzlies (March 18) @ Rockets (March 20)
7. Timberwolves (35-35)
Upcoming schedule: @ Bulls (March 17), @ Raptors (March 18), @ Knicks (March 20)
8. Thunder (34-35)
Upcoming schedule: @ Raptors (March 16), vs. Suns (March 19), @ Clippers (March 21)
9. Mavericks (35-35)
Upcoming schedule: @ Lakers (March 17), @ Grizzlies (March 20) vs. Warriors (March 22)
10. Lakers (34-36)
Upcoming schedule: vs. Mavericks (March 17) vs. Magic (March 19), vs. Suns (March 22)
11. Jazz (33-36)
Upcoming schedule: vs. Celtics (March 18), vs. Kings (March 20), vs. Trail Blazers (March 22)
12. Pelicans (33-36)
Upcoming schedule: @ Rockets (March 17), @ Rockets (March 19), vs. Spurs (March 21)
13. Trail Blazers (31-38)
Upcoming schedule: vs. Celtics (March 17), vs. Clippers (March 19), @ Jazz (March 22)
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