The Lakers lost to the Philadelphia 76ers Tuesday on a night when the team just could not shoot inside or outside. The Lakers’ twin towers shot a combined 16 percent from the field, L.A. missed 11 free throws, and the team shot 14 percent from behind the arc.
Kobe Bryant’s 36 points on 48 percent shooting helped raise the team’s field goal percentage to 40 percent, but the Lakers just could not shoot on Tuesday night.
The Lakers were not getting good production from their big men, as Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard were a combined 3-19 from the field. The Lakers still managed 52 points in the paint, but most of those came from Bryant driving inside rather than the two vertically gifted Lakers who live in the painted area.
From the charity stripe, the Lakers were far from perfect, as every Laker who attempted a free throw missed a free throw. Howard missed five of his 10 free throw attempts, but Bryant was not far behind with three misses in his 10 attempts from the foul line.
From the 3-point line, the Lakers were awful. The team was 1-11 in the first half; that is 9 percent. That percentage dropped when the Lakers went 0-3 from behind the arc in the third quarter. The Lakers were actually 1-16 at one point, meaning they were shooting six percent on 3-pointers with five minutes remaining in the game.
Late in the fourth quarter, Metta World Peace and Bryant would each make one 3-pointer, but the Lakers still finished 3-22 from distance—14 percent.
The defensive energy was lacking at critical moments, the 76ers were younger and quicker, and the Lakers looked old and slow. With all that, the Lakers were still in a position to win the game. On Tuesday night, however, the purple and gold just could not make a basket.
After the game, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said, “Hopefully, it was one of those nights; we just didn’t shoot the ball well at all.”
With an away game at the division leading Clippers coming up on Friday, the Lakers will need to pick up their defensive energy, improve their overall communication, and—most importantly—make some shots.
Otherwise, a losing record and missing the playoffs may be here to stay in what is quickly turning into a nightmare season the Lakers cannot seem to wake up from.