The Los Angeles Lakers were neck and neck with the Clippers for the first three quarters on Friday, but once the fourth quarter started they went ice cold offensively and allowed the Clippers to go on a 22-0 run. For context, the longest run in NBA history is 29-0.
It was the latest in what has been a series of fourth quarter letdowns for the Lakers this week and head coach Luke Walton felt that their frustration got the best of them (via Spectrum SportsNet):
“We have to understand how important it is that we stick together and keep our composure. We’re playing good basketball and then for whatever reason, once it really gets tough ... we give in a little bit as a team and our body language starts to get off a little bit. What we have to understand is as a group we’re going to win and we’re going to lose. We have to have to stay together no matter what.”
Lonzo Ball admitted that he and his teammates were irritated with the way the game unfolded, but he stressed the importance of sticking together when things get tough:
“Guys were getting frustrated. Any time a team goes on a 22-0 run it’s not going to be all fine and dandy, but we have to regroup. We can’t argue each other; we’re on the same team.”
It’s probably especially hard for the Lakers to fight through adversity without the veteran leadership of LeBron James and Rajon Rondo in the locker room, but they’re going to have to figure it out if they want to win games without them.
The Lakers will have the day off on Saturday before hosting the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. Hopefully a little time away from each other will help the locker room come back stronger and hungrier for a win.