48 minutes – the amount of time in a regulation NBA basketball game. Somebody should remind the Lakers, because I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen them play a consistent game for 48 minutes. These new look Lakers seem to play in spurts, and unfortunately often find themselves on the wrong end of scoring runs. While the they rocketed out of the gates to an 18-4 lead, inconsistent play brought the Rockets right back into the game.
Defensive struggles continued as the Lakers allowed at least 28 points a quarter, including a 38 point third quarter led by a 16-2 run. After losing 4 straight, the Lakers fall to 15-19 on the season, and things aren’t looking any easier with a matchup against the San Antonio Spurs tomorrow night.
If a single reason had to be singled out for the loss, as with most games this season, it would boil down to the defense. You just aren’t going to find yourself on the winning end of many games when you allow 125 points. It’s a shame that the Lakers seem to make no improvements on this end of the floor, although it has clearly been a main cause for their problems all season long.
For a large part of the game, the Lakers put up a valiant effort without the play of the injured Jordan Hill, Pau Gasol, and Dwight Howard. .Unfortunately, with the position they have dug themselves into this late in the season, a valiant effort isn’t going to get the job done. This team unbelievably finds itself in danger of missing the playoffs if it can’t pick up the pieces fast. An injury-riddled roster and tough schedule ahead, combined with the Lakers recent play, have many fans feeling uneasy.
Game Notes: With Gasol, Howard, and Hill out, the Lakers saw increased playing time from Robert Sacre, Earl Clark, Antawn Jamison, and Darius Morris. Devin Ebanks was the lone player not to get any playing time. Nash put up his 10,000th assist, putting him at number 5 on the all-time list. The Rockets were led by James Harden with 31 points, 6 rebounds, and 9 assists. Carlos Delfino hit 5-7 from three point range and finished with 19. The Lakers were led by Metta World Peace with 24 points and Kobe Bryant with 20. The Lakers were outscored in the paint 60-44, but the Rockets had 18 turnovers compared to the Lakers 16.