On Friday night at Staples Center, Lou Williams scored 35 points to mark the third time the backup guard had topped the 30-point mark in the past four games. Unfortunately for Williams, the Lakers lost on Friday night and wasted an incredible individual performance once again.
"Over and over again, we let other teams dictate the pace," Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. lamented after the game. "They come out and throw the first punch, and at that point, we're just backpeddling, trying to catch up. Obviously, it hasn't gone well for us, so we got to go back to the drawing board."
LA allowed 30 or more points in three of the four quarters against the Phoenix Suns, and even the defensive success of the third quarter featured Phoenix scoring 27 points. Scoring 115 points at home should to enough to secure a victory, but the Suns scored 119 and fended off a late comeback charged by Williams' hot shooting.
Williams scored 23 points in the second half and helped trim an 18-point deficit to only three points with 91 seconds showing on the game clock. However, the Lakers continued to make mistakes when the game hung in the balance, and Phoenix took advantage of those unforgivable errors.
Asked about his recent scoring flurry, Williams offered, "Usually, you score a lot of points, you probably get some wins out of it. We haven't got any wins out of it, so it's not a lot to take from it."
Williams added, "Losing is losing. We're not in the business of moral victories."
LA turned the ball over 16 times and gave up 25 points off turnovers, which were 11 more points than the Lakers scored off Phoenix's mistakes. That difference could easily sum up the game.
To add injury to insult, Lakers forward Julius Randle came up limping with an apparent hip injury after a tough fall.
"It's my hip. I just re-aggraveted it," Randle said after the game. "Actually, I hurt it a couple games ago on the other side, and it's just been sore. I've been playing with it. I just re-aggravated it, but like I said, it'll be fine. I don't think there's time to sit out right now."
Previously, Randle missed time with a hip pointer injury, so the hip injury on the other side of the hip has to be concerning for the team that already had four regular players sitting out of Friday's game due to injuries: Jose Calderon; D'Angelo Russell; Nick Young; and Tarik Black.
Quote of the Night:
"It wasn't five, but I think we had a losing streak at Duke where we lost four in a row." - Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram, when asked if he can remember the last time he lost five games in a row or if he's ever lost five games in a row.