The Los Angeles Lakers led by 16 points at the half and 11 going into the fourth quarter of their game against the Golden State Warriors, but simply couldn’t close things out.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis hit just 12 of their 32 shots but more importantly, the team’s defense failed them as they allowed 67 Warriors points in the second half of a 114-112 loss.
The Lakers seemed to get complacent in the second half as they had been able to put numerous other teams away despite some stretches of sloppy play, but this game was different. The Warriors never let up and despite Stephen Curry being held in check for much of the night, the likes of Kelly Oubre Jr. and Eric Paschall had huge performances.
The Lakers also scored just four fast-break points on the night. “I think we just had some tough breaks, some tough calls against us in the second half that kind of slowed our pace down,” James said after the loss.
“It just slowed everything down. We couldn’t get back into a rhythm after the game was slowed down a little bit, and they did a great job of countering that. It’s something we can learn from. It’s always great to have games like that.”
Further making things more difficult for the Lakers in the eyes of James was that the team began settling for too many jumpers.
“I think at times — including myself — we settled for the perimeter shot in transition instead of attacking the rim,” he added, “But we’ve been pretty good at that all year. We would love to be in transition more, but you’ve got to stops. In the fourth quarter they did a good job of not allowing us to get too many stops.”
The Lakers out-rebounded the Warriors 50-32, with 12 of those boards being offensive while also drawing a lot of fouls on the Warriors starting frontcourt as both James Wiseman and Draymond Green each had five.
Those jumpers ultimately cost the Lakers as they shot just 31% from deep, down from the 39.6% that they were shooting as a team heading into the contest. The Lakers have been at their best when they get stops and get out in transition, but after getting out to an early lead, they got away from that and it resulted in a loss.
LeBron believes Lakers must learn from losses
Even with the loss, the Lakers still own the NBA’s best record, but a tough stretch is ahead as they set to embark on a seven-game road trip. With that coming up, James stressed the importance of learning from the loss and applying it to the next contest.
“Obviously you’re frustrated anytime you lose, especially when you could have played better. And we know we could’ve played much better, so you learn from all of that and apply it to the next game,” he said.
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