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The Lakers continue this pesky habit of losing as they fall to the Denver Nuggets. Kobe Bryant had 18 4th quarter points, Dwight Howard tied a career high in rebounds, and it still wasn't enough.
The Lakers lost, the sky is blue, and water is wet (really, it is). The season, and the playoffs, continue to run away from the Lakers as they drop another game. The Nuggets shot a lower percentage from the field, had less rebounds, and made less free throws than the Lakers, yet they were still able to win on the Lakers home court. This season has been a debacle going all the way back to preseason. Injuries, coaching changes, and adjustments have all come and gone. The core is playing now for the Lakers, and the issues are clearly deeper than "we just have to play together and read a chemistry book". Final score in this loss, 112-105.
The roller coaster continues slowly pushing along at the bottom of the tracks. The Lakers need to again climb the slopes of this amusement park ride, but whether they can, and whether they can sustain it once they rise up again is an entirely different issue. This team simply needs to find traction again in this season. That little win streak they had is simply an after thought at this point. A five game winning streak, at this point, can be considered an anomaly for the Lakers.
Perhaps the sequence in the fourth quarter can serve as the perfect analogy for this season. With the Lakers in dire need of a stop as they attempted yet another 4th quarter comeback, Dwight Howard made the stop. He jumped up and swatted Andre Miller's shot away from the rim. They did it! There's still a chance! The ball repelled away from Howard's palm and began it's fateful descent straight into the hands of Danilo Gallinari. He puts up the three, and that Lakers stop turned into the final nail in the coffin for another disappointing night in Staples.
No matter how many things go right for the Lakers, something else goes terribly wrong. More often than not this results in another L in the column. It's all going so terribly wrong. Ty Lawson capitalized on a reeling Lakers squad as he dropped 21 points, 10 assists, and had 0 turnovers.
Giving up 25 fast break points, 60 points in the paint, and 14 points off of turnovers is a good start at looking where things took a turn for the worst. Kobe Bryant "having" to score 18 of the Lakers 22 points in the fourth quarter is another good indication of where things went wrong. Kobe ended the night with 29 points on 11-26 shooting,
The Lakers played a reasonable game on the offensive side of the ball no matter how they managed to find their points, though, and is far from the "big" issue with this team. Turning the ball over 18 times, and giving up 17 offensive rebounds, is a problem. The Lakers, as has been stated repeatedly here at Silver Screen & Roll, cannot account for an extra 35 (give or take, considering straight put backs on offensive rebounds) possessions. The defense isn't there. The legs aren't there. The effort isn't there.
Even with Dwight Howard grabbing 26 rebounds (tying a career high) as he went 6-7 from the field (14 points on the night), it still wasn't enough to add to their win total on this dismal season. More in the morning, but I'll end this instant recap with a quote from Mike D'Antoni.
Mike D'Antoni: "The hole's not too big. Mathematically we can still make the playoffs."— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 7, 2013
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- The Denver Stiffs are probably still scoring points in the paint.