It’s just not in the cards this year for the Lake Show. That much is obvious. Tonight’s 108-105 loss in San Antonio, L.A.’s fifth straight, pretty much echoed what this year is all about.
This one wasn’t the bloodbath many expected. That might be coming Friday when OKC comes to Staples. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Tonight’s affair was supposed to be another embarrassing defeat on the D’Antoni resume. Instead it was a close contest that got away from L.A. in the third yet was still there for the taking late in the fourth.
There was actually a Mamba sighting as Kobe Bryant put the pedal to the metal in a memorable second half of hoops. KB24 shifted into Mamba mode just as the Lakers fell behind by double digits. In classic Kobe fashion it was a technical foul that got him going. Struggling to find his range Bryant took it to the cup in transition against Tim Duncan and was mad because he didn’t get an AND 1.
You pretty much got the feel Kobe was trying to get himself going so in reality the ref played right into his hands. Bryant buried a three from damn near half court (the “S” on the Spurs logo) the next time down then followed that up with another triple. Eight quick points from the king snake had Greg Popovich worried so he called a time out.
The Spurs responded by again opening another double digit lead as the fourth began. But that too wouldn’t last thanks to another run by the Lakers.
Some harassing D by Metta World Peace, a clutch triple from Earl Clark on his career night (22 and 13 boards) and a major mistake by Tony Parker put this one on a plate for the Lakers to take.
The truth is the Lakers couldn’t ever get over the hump. Trialing by three with under two minutes to play World Peace blew a layup showing shades of his failed dunk in Dallas a couple years back. After that wretched miss they never got to within three ultimately losing by three.
This marks the first time in over six years a Lakers squad has lost five straight. It also marks a full five games under .500 with the gap between the Lakers and the playoffs only widening.
The game might not have gone the way many expected but the result was pretty much what the world saw coming. Though the effort was inspired tonight the season is already at the point where only wins will suffice. Just when this team will win again is anyone’s guess. One thing we don’t need to worry about is seeing this team fall flat in the postseason. It’s safe to say there will be no playoff games with Lakers logos on the Staples floor this year.