There aren’t words to describe the humiliation the Lakers franchise experienced last night. A 48 point loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at home might be the worst moment in franchise history. Its the type of loss that if repeated could start to erode the compact the team has with its massive, loyal fan base. We know this is a rebuilding effort and losing this season is worth a top 5 pick in a loaded draft`, but last night was a bit much even for an understanding fan base to stomach.
The Lakers brass met with Mike D’Antoni in the wake of the carnage at Staples Center, to get a sense of where the team is. D’Antoni seemed a safe bet to coach the team into next season, but last night might cause Mitch Kupchak to revisit that premise.
It is under that heavy cloud of uncertainty that the Lakers trudged up to Denver for a back to back on the road at the Pepsi Center.
Though more competitive than last night, the Lakers were defeated comfortably by the Denver Nuggets, 134-126 in Denver.
In the first the Lakers’ woeful defensive exhibition continued allowing Denver to shoot 75% from the field and score 42 points…in a quarter. The Nuggets had their choice of three pointers or dunks.Ty Lawson, who loves playing the Lakers, had 12 points and 5 assists. Wilson Chandler scored 10. Kenneth Faried scored 8. Pau Gasol scored 11. Kendall Marshall had 6 assists.The Lakers shot 54 percent from the field and trailed 42-35 after the 1st period.
In the second, Jordan Farmar asserted himself early, leading an 8-2 run to open the period, bringing the Lakers back to only trail by one, 44-43 with 9:15 remaining. The Nuggets then went on a 20-11 run over the last 5:28 of the half,to lead 73-66 at the break. The Lakers gave up 70 points in the first half for the second consecutive game. Pau Gasol had 15 points, Jordan Farmar had 13 points and Ryan Kelly had 10. For the Nuggets, Lawson had 20 points and 8 assists. Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler each had 15. It was 77-66 at the half.
In the third, Ty Lawson continued his great night, scoring 10 points in a variety of ways, running up the score to 96-79 with 4:45 remaining. The Nuggets lead 110-91 at the end of the third.
In the fourth, the only suspense left in the game was whether the Nuggets would reach 150. In what amounted to extended garbage time, Kenneth Faried scored 8 points. Ryan Kelly had a nice effort with 12 to garner his first double double with 24 points and 12 rebounds for the game. Pau Gasol had 25 points and 5 rebounds. Jordan Farmar scored 24 points with 4 assists and 2 steals. Kendall Marshall had 14 assists and 8 points. Jodie Meeks chipped in 16 points.
For the Nuggets, Ty Lawson was dominant with 30 points and 17 assists. Kenneth Faried had 32 points and 13 rebounds. Wilson Chandler finished with 19 points.
The Lakers play the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center on Sunday afternoon.