The Los Angeles Lakers continued their offensive struggles without Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder in the lineup, putting up a horrid second half en route to their third straight loss, this one coming against the lowly Washington Wizards in a 127-124 defeat in overtime.
LeBron James took control of the game early with seven points, a rebound and two assists in the opening minutes. However, shooting woes continued as the Lakers started 5-of-12 from the field and 2-for-7 behind the arc.
Their defense remained consistent against the Wizards’ offense, which helped keep the team ahead before the offense clicked. The Lakers went on a 10-2 run and led 33-23 after the first quarter.
Shooting finally picked up in the second quarter, with the Lakers making four of their first seven from the field and two of three from 3-point range. Russell Westbrook did his best to keep the Wizards close, but L.A. held an 11-point lead at the first timeout of the period.
Montrezl Harrell was the first Laker in double figures, reaching 10 points with an emphatic dunk over Robin Lopez in the second quarter. A midrange jumper and a driving layup on back-to-back possessions gave Harrell 14 points and extended the team’s lead to 16.
The Wizards went on a 9-1 run, but it was quickly combatted by James and Kyle Kuzma. The Lakers took a comfortable 63-49 lead into halftime with Harrell leading the way on the scoreboard.
The second half began with James and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope controlling the Lakers offense. The two combined to score all of L.A.’s first 12 points, and a 15-point advantage forced a Wizards timeout at 75-60 halfway through the third quarter.
A quick 7-0 run from the Wizards led by Bradley Beal brought their deficit to just eight before a Lakers timeout attempted to slow the momentum. The Wizards kept it close for the remainder of the quarter with a 20-11 run. Heading into the fourth, L.A. held a slim 86-80 advantage.
In the first 90 seconds of the final quarter of play, the Wizards pressed their foot on the gas pedal even more, cutting the gap to just one to force a Lakers timeout. A Deni Avdija 3-pointer gave the Wizards a 90-88 advantage, their first since the opening quarter.
The Wizards continued to dominate the quarter thanks to an over four-minute drought by L.A. The Lakers still made several pushes down the stretch, including James making the layup on a potential and-1 that would have given the Lakers a lead.
However, he missed the free throw instead left the door open for the Wizards, but Beal’s jumper at the buzzer was off. Playing in their fourth overtime game of the month, the Lakers missed several jumpers and were stagnant on offense.
James and Kuzma both had looks at a game-tying 3-pointer on the Lakers’ final possession but each came up empty.
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