Two of the worst defensive teams in the NBA met on Friday night in Denver, and the Los Angeles Lakers won the contest of worst defensive team in the game.
As for the actual game, the Lakers lost to the Denver Nuggets on Friday night, and the numbers were staggering. The Nuggets scored a season-high 42 points in the first quarter. Then, the Nuggets scored a season-high 77 points in the first half. To say the Lakers’ defense was poor would be inaccurate, as there was no sign of defense in this game.
At one point in the game, the Lakers were called for illegal defense.
“There's been no defense,” Lakers announcer Stu Lantz shouted out on the broadcast. “How can you call illegal defense in this game?"
The Nuggets were not exactly putting on a defensive clinic. For its part, Denver allowed the Lakers to score 35 points in the first quarter and 66 points in the half. Still, the Nuggets led by a comfortable margin for the majority of the game.
When the final buzzer sounded, the Lakers had allowed 134 points.
The final scoreboard read 134-126. The Lakers had allowed 132 or more points in three straight games, and Friday night was not a noticeable defensive improvement on the 142 points the Lakers allowed against the Clippers in the worst loss in franchise history on Thursday night.
The Lakers fell to fourth from the bottom in the NBA. The Lakers were already rooted to bottom of the Western Conference, so nothing changed in that regard.
As would be expected from a team that scored 126 points, the Lakers did have bright spots. Among the highlights, Kendall Marshall collected 14 assists, Pau Gasol scored 27 points, Jordan Farmar added another 24 points and Ryan Kelly finished with a double-double—24 points and 11 rebounds.
However, the statistics were misleading, as this game lacked true competitive spirit. The Lakers failed to compete on one end of the floor, and the loss was easy to predict.
Until the Lakers play defense, they will never truly be competitive. Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni should be worried about his job at this point.
Quote of the Night:
"You can't win that way." - Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni was asked about allowing over 130 points per game in the last three games.