The Los Angeles Lakers were finally able to snap an 11-game skid against the division rival Los Angeles Clippers on Christmas Day. D’Angelo Russell and company were able to rally together to mount another big lead in the second half and ultimately come away with the victory, but they came dangerously close to letting their opponent chip away and a steal a win.
Following the win over the Clippers on Sunday night, head coach Luke Walton admitted it was a much-needed win for his squad. Although the win a step in the right direction, Walton wants his team to not let the little things erase big leads, via ESPN’s Baxter Holmes:
“I told them, let it feel good, but let’s not kid ourselves,” Walton said of his message to his team after the game. “I tell them that the impressive thing is three out of the last four games, against good NBA teams, we’ve built up 17-, 18-, 19-point leads, which is not easy to do. So we’re capable, when we’re really locked in and we’re playing hard and competing, of doing damage, but it’s the little things that almost happened again tonight that are going to hold us back.”
With the win over the Clippers officially in the books, the Lakers will hope to keep it going at the Staples Center on Tuesday against the visiting Utah Jazz. Walton’s squad will finish out the year with the five-game homestand which along with hosting the Clippers includes matchups against the Dallas Mavericks, Toronto Raptors, and Memphis Grizzlies.
The Lakers will play seven of their next eight games at home and it couldn’t come at a better time with the team hoping to get back on track following a disappointing road trip.