The Los Angeles Lakers welcomed back Nick Young and the loss column in a 108-102 loss to the Brooklyn Nets. It was a swift re-introduction to the ailments they've endured all season. Turnovers, missed opportunities and porous defense. Sum it all up and the Lakers are now in last place in the Western Conference with a 19-36 record.
The team gave up 63 points through the first half as both Deron Williams and Paul Pierce obliterated the purple and gold. They combined for 35 points through the first half and added on to their total through the second half. Williams finished with a game-high 30 points with Pierce following close behind at 25 points.
It's hard to find optimism in a wire-to-wire loss. The Nets took off in the first, outscoring the Lakers 33-21 and setting the pace for the game. Brooklyn's lead ballooned up to 19 points, but the Lakers cut it down to single digits late in the fourth quarter. Jodie Meeks had a chance to make it a four-point game but missed a 15-foot jumpshot in transition and Brooklyn pushed the lead back up to six.
Kent Bazemore started his first game for the Lakers, He ended the night with 17 points and matched Meeks' team-high 13 field goal attempts. Pau Gasol notched a double-double, scoring a team-high 22 points while grabbing 11 rebounds.
Ryan Kelly sat another game out as did robert Sacre while Mike D'Antoni continues tinkering and tweaking the Lakers lineups. Young's return went well in limited minutes. He played 19 minutes and was three-for-four from the field for 10 points.
What more is there to say? This Lakers team has been taking hits all season and they're going to keep pounding them until this 82-game torture chamber ends. There comes a point where the losses go numb and the eyes just look ahead to the next game. Maybe not even for a win, but a chance to see something new. A chance to see if Kent Bazemore can be a thing that sticks for the Lakers. To see if Jordan Farmar can get his health right and thrive under Mike D'Antoni like he was prior to his initial hamstring injury. To see some vintage Pau Gasol before there's potentially no more Pau Gasol in Los Angeles.
The bottom of the West is a strange place, but it's a place this team was projected to head toward. Fact is no loss should be surprising now, and the draft is but a few months away. Keep your eyes ahead to avoid the train wreck in the rear view. It doesn't really matter anymore.