Against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Los Angeles Lakers reminded fans exactly why they are battling for last place, not first place. The Lakers committed turnovers and lacked intensity on defense. All-in-all, it was a bad night, and the Lakers lost to the worst team in the NBA, again.
The Bucks only have 14 wins on the season, and two of those wins came against the Lakers. Although the game was never a blowout that got out of hand, the Lakers did not lead the entire second half. The Bucks were just better, which is a painful realization considering the Bucks are bottom of the standings in the NBA.
On the night, the Lakers' defense allowed the Bucks to shoot 55.7 percent from the field. Even though Milwaukee turned the ball over 19 times, the Lakers were one worse with 20 giveaways in the loss.
LA won the battle on the boards 38-33, but when the game was on the line, the Lakers failed to corral the ball on the defensive glass. In the fourth quarter, the Lakers dropped their guard and allowed five offensive rebounds that ultimately cost the game. Down the stretch, LA failed to pull in a rebound off a missed free throw and a defensive board under the basket.
Ignoring the result for a moment, Jordan Hill tied his personal best of 28 points to go along with 16 rebounds. However, nine of those boards came on the offensive end, and the defensive glass is where the Lakers lost the game.
Off the bench, Nick Young finished with 17 points and had half a look at a tie with 0.6 left on the clock. That effort, matching the Lakers’ defensive effort, was well short of what was required.
The Bucks had lost eight in a row, and the Lakers had won two in a row. Trends and records went out the window on Thursday night, though, as the Lakers looked like the second best team in the contest. Truthfully, the same could have been said for the first time these teams played at Staples Center.
With the victory, the Bucks actually move to within one game of Philadelphia. For those who do not understand what “tanking” is, the Philadelphia 76ers have lost 26 games in a row. The Bucks may be bad, but the 76ers are worse. Even the Lakers beat the 76ers--once.
For the Lakers, the loss gave them the sixth-worst record in the NBA. If this keeps up, the Lakers are due for a high draft pick.
“We don’t want to get a high pick this way,” Hill said after the game. “We’re still going to try to win the rest of the games.”