While the Los Angeles Lakers once were a team on the rise and riding momentum with a win over the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day, injuries to LeBron James and Rajon Rondo sent the team into a tailspin.
They struggled even with James and Rondo back in the lineup, going 2-4 heading into the All-Star break. That left the Lakers below .500 and three games out of the Western Conference playoffs. The time off suited them well as the Lakers came from behind to defeat the Houston Rockets.
It marked a fourth win this season in game they trailed by at least 17 points. More importantly was that it came on a night the Sacramento Kings lost.
The Lakers face an uphill battle as they look to gain ground on the Kings and Clippers, with only 24 games remaining. For all intents and purposes the playoffs have began for them, but Lakers head coach Luke Walton doesn’t necessarily want the team to feel that pressure.
“We got to play with that sense of urgency, but it’s not about going out there and thinking we have to be perfect right now,” he explained.
“It’s about going out and playing free still, but just a lot more locked in and disciplined with what we’re doing. We’re not going to go 25-0. We’re going to lose a couple, but we got to maintain that same level of intensity no matter what the outcome of each game is.”
Reminder: Vivid Seats is the Official Ticket Reseller of LakersNation.com. New Customers use “LAKERSNATION” (all CAPS) in the Vivid Seats App on your phone and get 10% off any Lakers home game ticket order for the remainder of the season.