The Lakers, as a group, claimed their spirit wasn’t broken as they struggled to accumulate wins.
Even as the Lakers paused again in a 129-118 loss to Denver on Sunday, playing again without a star and heading towards the abyss, the Lakers remain hopeful.
Hope the Lakers can break a six-game losing streak. I’m hoping LeBron James can play Tuesday night in Phoenix after the star missed Sunday’s game with left ankle pain. I hope all is not lost for the Lakers to claim last spot in the NBA Play-In tournament.
Her loss to the Nuggets had all the familiar sounds.
The Lakers only scored 24 points in the fourth quarter; the Nuggets had 34. The Lakers shot 34.8% from the field in the fourth quarter; the nuggets shot 62.5%.
Anthony Davis played pain in his second straight game after missing 18 with a right foot sprain.
“We fought hard,” Davis said after 28 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. “We know the situation we are in, especially if we lose today. It’s another must-win, must-must-win in Phoenix. A team that plays well but can also be beaten.
“But the mood is high. We’re not the only team that gives up until it’s all over. We have four games left and our job is to try to play and win each of them.
However, the Lakers meet a Suns team with the best record in the NBA, 62-16, the start of a final four-game stretch of the season that will see Los Angeles meet three teams with winning records.
The Lakers are the 11th-ranked team in the Western Conference and will skip them from the play-in tournament unless they can catch San Antonio, increasing their lead over the Lakers to two games. With Spurs holding the season series tiebreaker, LA can’t afford another loss and must hope for some San Antonio losses.
They are 16 games under .500 (31-47) and are showing no signs of delivering on the promise they should have made early in the season.
However, they have not been eliminated mathematically, and so there is reason to keep the right spirit.
“I think that’s the hard part, to be honest, keeping everyone together. I’m not saying we’re not, but keeping everyone together can be a difficult task,” said Carmelo Anthony. “I’m not saying we aren’t but it can be a tough task now until the end of the season or the end of the track to keep the guys together and understand the situation we’re in.
“Guys can just start checking out. We haven’t seen that – I know I haven’t seen that from guys, at least when I’m around, at practice, on the bus, on the plane. I haven’t seen anyone give up, so it’s a feeling we never thought we’d experience or experience, but it’s here and there’s nothing we can do at this point but face it and embrace it. “
Lakers coach Frank Vogel said his boys were “busting their ass off” and not giving up despite the circumstances.
Vogel was asked if he was proud of how the Lakers are holding out there.
“It’s the right word and what’s it like? It sucks,” Vogel said. “It sucks to say to these guys after every game, ‘I’m proud of you guys. Nice try. We lost.’ So it’s not fun, but it could be worse.
“It’s easy to unravel. Our group stayed together. They fight the good fight. Your attitude was wonderful in terms of working together to make this thing right. And it’s just disappointing to keep saying we’ve come up short.”
https://www.latimes.com/sports/lakers/story/2022-04-04/lakers-nuggets-takeaways-despite-loss-not-falling-apart The positive side of the Lakers: Despite defeat, they keep their fighting spirit