For those that concern themselves with such things, Thursday night’s match-up with the Phoenix Suns was big night for the Los Angeles Lakers’ “tank” efforts. The Lakers entered the game at 19-45, two games “ahead” of the Suns in the loss column.
Los Angeles looked set to cruise to an easy win, but a late 15-1 run by Phoenix cut the Lakers’ lead to just seven. That’s when their tank began to skid on the ice D’Angelo Russell claims is coursing through his veins:
Final: @Lakers top @Suns 122-110.— NBA (@NBA) March 10, 2017
Russell carries the #LakeShow with 28 PTS! Booker: 23 PTS. pic.twitter.com/5LEkxdpUF6
The shot was part of a superb 28 point effort for the young point guard, who (in not shocking at all news) is not in a particular rush for the Lakers’ to lose games.
The win snapped an eight-game losing streak for the Lakers, and puts the team just a single game “ahead” of the Suns for the NBA’s second-worst record. The Lakers will only keep their draft pick in the 2017 NBA Draft if it remains among the top-three selections following the lottery.
Finishing with the second-worst record in the league would give Los Angeles a 55.8 percent chance to keep their pick, while the third-worst record would offer a 46.9 percent chance to keep it from conveying to the Philadelphia 76ers.
All stats per NBA.com. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.