Sunday, March 26 2023

On Monday night, the Los Angeles Lakers led the Indiana Pacers 101-84 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and they looked well on their way to their sixth win in their last seven games.

But instead of sealing another victory, they stopped doing what got them the lead.

They started walking the ball upcourt and milking the shot clock, seemingly playing the clock rather than looking to extend their lead. That lack of urgency and aggression bled over onto the defensive end, where L.A. had multiple breakdowns that resulted in easy scores and offensive rebounds for Indiana.

It all culminated in a buzzer-beating 3-pointer for Pacers rookie Andrew Nembhard that won the game for them.

Afterward, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham showed some good leadership while pointing out what cost his team the game.

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“I think us not taking advantage in terms of continuing to play downhill, play with force, continue to move the ball,” he said of what sparked the Pacers’ run in the fourth.

“It’s just one of those things, you get a lead like that, the free-throw line allows you to maintain your lead. And I wish we would have been a lot more aggressive, continue playing with pace and also continue to be organized and move the ball. And that falls on me. That falls on me. I’ll take responsibility for that.

“And then also late in the game, you know, just giving up offensive rebounds. It’s been something that just plagued us the last couple of games. And Indiana has a really good team, a team with shooters everywhere and you can’t allow them to get second or third chances at open looks. Once they miss, a lot of long rebounds. You got to have active hands and feet to go corral them and bring them in, and again, you know me, I have to do a better job of keeping us organized during those stretches, offensively.”

The loss dropped the Lakers to 7-12, which is the third-worst record in the Western Conference.

On Wednesday, they will host the Portland Trail Blazers, which means dealing with Damian Lillard, a star who always seems to kill them. Los Angeles will then head East for a six-game road trip that starts on Friday versus Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.


Lakers player grades: L.A. loses heartbreaker to Pacers

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire

Source: Yahoo Sports


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