The Los Angeles Lakers were looking to bounce back from a two-game losing streak against the Washington Wizards, who were winners of four straight. One of those streaks had to give and LeBron James and the role players had to deliver on some promises after the Saturday loss to Miami! They did to an extent, but they still lost!
The Los Angeles Lakers played yet another home overtime game against yet another less talented opponent. Only this time, the Lakers didn’t get out of Staples Center with a win.
After LeBron James missed a clinching free throw and dodging a bullet with a Bradley Beal miss to end regulation, the Lakers ran out of gas in the extra session losing 127-124.
The Lake Show is now on a three-game losing streak and the Utah Jazz are waiting in the wings on Wednesday night. Uh oh!
The good from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss:
LeBron James backed up his words after the loss to the Miami Heat…early!
Basically, this entire segment will be based on comments the Lakers had about the balance of production with Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder out of the lineup. LeBron was criticized by some for passing up two potential game-winners to Wesley Matthews and Alex Caruso. Here what he said he had to do via ESPN.
“I think that’s what it all boils down to, and right now is another challenge for me, to be able to adjust,” James said. “Not having AD for a long period of time is something that we haven’t had over the last year and a half, and now it’s time for me to adjust again and see ways I can be even more effective to help this team win ballgames. Because that is the sport that we’re in.
“We’re in the winning business, and I’ve always been a winner. So, it’s time to click into that.”
LeBron James came out aggressive looking for his offense early to set the tone for the Lakers. He had 9 points in the opening quarter. Then when he got his rhythm established, LeBron went to work getting the rest of his teammates untracked.
LeBron James scored 31 points and dished out 13 assists. But that free throw at the end of regulation hurts bad Lakers fans!
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had something to say too. Then the role players came out aggressive!
“I feel like the last couple games that’s been happening, putting a lot on Bron,” Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said after the game. “We already know what we’re going to get out of him. So all the rest of us, we’ve got to continue to just play hard and just play basketball and not worry about anything else.”
Obviously, there were some discussions on how the Lakers had to play better across the board. LeBron’s quote was important, but not as important as KCP’s quote. Bottom line the Lakers role players didn’t look confident enough to take shots much less make them.
In this game, it seemed every player looked like they believed that they could contribute and help LeBron out. Talen Horton-Tucker illustrates that confidence with this move alone.
The role players took the open shots when they were there. In the first half, they were falling and that got the Lake Show out to a comfortable lead over the Wizards in the first half. But Kentavious Caldwell-Pope returned to the spotlight as far as Lake Show Life is concerned scoring 21 points with humongous shots throughout the game into overtime.
Montrezl Harrell got minutes and he put in work while he was out there!
Montrezl Harrell is the reigning NBA 6th Man of the Year. He is at the top of the NBA in field goal percentage. In short, the man scores the basketball in bunches. After being hamstrung the last two games minutes-wise, Trezl continues to do damage from the left baseline.
Harrell had 15 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks in the FIRST HALF! Does Harrell need to be in the Lakers’ starting lineup? No. But he needs to be closing games out in crunch time. Something that didn’t happen (Like…again!) despite Harrell scoring 26 points with 9 rebounds.
The bad from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss:
Kyle Kuzma got two early fouls in the first quarter.
This is probably what Kuzma will be thinking after the game. “Man if I hadn’t gotten into early foul trouble, I might have scored 30 points easy!”. He’s right.
Even though he played solid and his teammates picked him up, if he didn’t get into early foul trouble Kuzma probably would have smoked the Wizards based on the defense they played. He lost his shooting stroke finishing with 14 points.
Montrezl Harrell got in foul trouble late!
Harrell got his fifth foul midway through the final quarter and the Wizards spread the floor out exposing Marc Gasol on defense. The Lakers almost didn’t make it to overtime because of it.
Bradley Beal’s game being wasted.
Sure, FanSided’s Washington Wizards website Wiz of Awes has probably covered this all season long, but it’s sad watching an All-Star talent in Bradley Beal play his heart out with little in return from his franchise.
Bradley Beal is a joy to watch and he was giving the Lakers the business every time he touched the ball. But to see Russell Westbrook play so inefficient and render him null and void while the rest of the roster just lacking the talent is unfair to Beal.
Bradley Beal finished with 33 points that are just as fun to watch as witnessing Westbrook scoring basically the same amount of frustrating NBA analysts everywhere.
The story from the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss:
The Washington Wizards turned the ball over a ton in the first half.
No team can beat the Los Angeles Lakers turning the ball over. The Wizards did so and the Lakers made them pay almost every time getting to their transition offense and scoring immediately. Granted the Lakers have the turnover bugaboo as well but the Wizards had to play perfectly against the Lakers to win. The Lakers had to be the Lakers to win this game and they did.
Man the Los Angeles Lakers turn the ball over too much!
The Lakers have to understand the concept of turning the ball over. They allowed the Wizards to get back in the game by turning the ball over and getting burned on the other end. The Lakers had 20 turnovers with LeBron having 8 of his own!
The Lakers closed out the first two quarters on big runs and got burned by Washington’s in the last two.
When the Los Angeles Lakers were destroying teams during their devastating run earlier this season, they got on big spurts to close out quarters. They had a 15-5 run to end the opening quarter and followed that up with a 10-4 run before halftime.
Then Washington got back in the game on a huge 21-9 run in the second half.
Where in the world was Montrezl Harrell in overtime?
Lake Show Life’s more in-depth breakdowns will come in Lake Show Life Lessons tomorrow. Keep it locked for the only Los Angeles Lakers post-game report with highlights and in-depth analysis.