The Los Angeles Lakers have once again suffered a reality check when they appeared to have turned their misfortunes around this season.
L.A. has lost four of its last five games, most recently falling to the Indiana Pacers despite holding onto the lead for the majority of the night. The poor run follows a promising stretch at the turn of the year, during which the Lakers went 5-1.
“I hate losing so, of course, there’s a level of frustration for sure,” LeBron James said after the loss to the Pacers.
L.A. slid back to below .500 on the season ahead of a long road trip, starting with a clash against the Orlando Magic on Friday. James said the Lakers need to embrace the fact they currently are a mid-table team as they bid goodbye to Southern California for over a week.
“I feel like we have a good enough team to win ball games and be over .500 and win ball games,” the All-Star forward said.
“We are who we are. We can’t even sit here and say we should be this, we should be that. Our record is who we are. We are a sub .500 team as it stands today, and we have to play better. We have a heck of a road trip coming up and we will be tested. A lot of great teams. We’ll see what we’re made of.”
During the upcoming six-game road trip, the Lakers will face the Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, and Philadelphia 76ers in the span of four days. They will then play the Charlotte Hornets and Atlanta Hawks, before returning to Crypto.com Arena for a clash against the Portland Trail Blazers.
James doesn’t believe Lakers ‘played poorly’ against Pacers
The Lakers seemed to have the game under control for the majority of the night until Caris LeVert began his fourth-quarter takeover. LeVert scored 22 points in the final period, helping the Pacers take the lead for just the second time in the game — and then making sure they held onto it until the final buzzer.
James thought L.A. didn’t have a terrible night on Wednesday.
“I don’t think we played poorly tonight,” the four-time NBA champion said. “I think in the fourth quarter, a guy got hot and exploited our game plan which can happen. You can play great defense and a guy gets hot in Caris [LeVert] and he took that fourth-quarter over.”
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