Mar 30, 2022
Dave McMenaminESPN Group Author
- Lakers and NBA reporter for ESPN.
- Lined the Lakers and NBA for ESPNLosAngeles.com from 2009-14, the Cavaliers from 2014-18 for ESPN.com and the NBA for NBA.com from 2005-09.
DALLAS -- For the basic time since the basic week of the smartly-liked season, the Los Angeles Lakers receive themselves on the skin of the play-in occasion attempting in after Tuesday night time's 128-110 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
Taking half in without LeBron James (left ankle sprain) and Anthony Davis (trusty midfoot sprain), the Lakers trailed by as many as 37 functions as Luka Doncic recorded a 30-level triple-double by arrangement of the basic three quarters (34 functions, 12 rebounds, 12 assists).
"We honest did no longer earn higher ample and play with ample toughness, IQ, intelligence, focal level and battle," Lakers coach Frank Vogel acknowledged. "So, no longer acceptable and honest a glum efficiency all the arrangement in which by arrangement of the board. Coaches, avid gamers, everybody."
Los Angeles is No. 11 in the Western Conference with seven video games closing. The Lakers, at 31-44, contain the identical document because the No. 10 Spurs, nonetheless San Antonio owns the tiebreaker.
Having a seek ahead to the closing stretch, the Lakers contain long previous 4-10 in opposition to their six closing opponents. (They play the Denver Nuggets twice.) The Spurs are 5-11 versus their six closing foes. (San Antonio plays the Portland Path Blazers twice.) The Nuggets (45-31) are No. 6 in the Western Conference standings. The Blazers (27-48) are No. 12 and would possibly maybe perhaps be out their smartly-known particular person, Damian Lillard, for the leisure of the season.
Vogel acknowledged James and Davis will each be reevaluated Thursday to receive out their availability for Los Angeles' sport on the Utah Jazz on Thursday night time. Davis, who has been sidelined since Feb. 16, is concentrating on a return by Friday at residence in opposition to the No. 9 Recent Orleans Pelicans, sources told ESPN.
Tuesday's efficiency changed into once about as obnoxious as it has been for the Lakers in a season already plump of disappointment. The 82 functions they gave up in the basic half of had been the 2nd most allowed in a predominant half of in franchise ancient previous, narrowly warding off the document location when the Boston Celtics hung 83 on them in the basic half of on Feb. 27, 1959, in step with ESPN Stats & Records.
Los Angeles' 26-level halftime deficit Tuesday mixed with the 28 functions Recent Orleans outscored them by in the 2nd half of Sunday represented the worst functions differential, minus-54, over a two-half of span for the Lakers in the shot clock technology.
"The standings are the outcomes," Vogel acknowledged when requested if falling out of the play-in usathe Lakers' urgency. "Now we want to procure our focal level on the route of and the work and the things that are going to lead to the next select. That is the single location that our focal level shall be."
Russell Westbrook, who had 25 functions, eight rebounds and 6 assists nonetheless changed into once phase of Los Angeles being outscored by 25 functions in the 32 minutes he changed into once on the bottom, added any other contentious postgame exchange with a reporter to his season résumé.
When Westbrook changed into once requested what changes for the Lakers now that they want to battle to earn support into the play-in occasion, he replied, "Nothing, man. Nothing."
After the reporter adopted by asking why nothing has changed, Westbrook bought up from his seat on the interview desk and acknowledged, "What carry out you mediate would possibly maybe perhaps additionally mild exchange?"
The reporter steered "successful" as an acknowledge, and Westbrook persisted the support-and-forth by asking, "That is ravishing. You earn an acknowledge to successful? You earn an acknowledge to successful?"
Because the exchange persisted for a few more moments, Westbrook noticed a video digicam pointed in his route and adjusted his tone, offering a half of-hug to the reporter, prior to leaving the room.
"We icy," he acknowledged. "Y'all gotta originate particular to document that."
The Lakers are 4-13 since the All-Huge establish destroy, which is on hunch to be the franchise's 2nd-lowest select percentage post-All-Huge establish destroy in team ancient previous.
"We honest bought our butt whupped. Straight up," Lakers forward Stanley Johnson acknowledged. "So no topic spirit or no topic, they kicked our ass. It changed into once 30 functions moderately a lot your complete sport. I earn no longer know how else you procure to pray to set it. We bought to be plenty higher than that."