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Anthony Davis says Lakers need to play with ‘desperation’ as threat of play-in looms large

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The Lakers know they have a lot to lose in their final 10 games.

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Los Angeles Lakers v Washington Wizards Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

On Wednesday night, after the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Washington Wizards, Anthony Davis sat on the sidelines and stared blankly onto the empty court at the Capital One Arena.

Davis knew going into Wednesday’s game how important it was to their place in the Western Conference playoff picture and he wanted a win badly. Unfortunately, things just didn’t work out that way for him and his teammates, and the disappointment of the loss settled in for him after the game.

“We let this one get away,” Davis said. “I think our second quarter kind of just killed us. We wasn’t playing with any pace, our defense was pretty poor and then coming out of the third quarter, it was kind of the same thing. Our effort wasn’t there in the third quarter as well. We let this one get away.”

The Lakers are still the sole proprietors of the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference, but the cushion that they built before Davis and his superstar teammate, LeBron James, went down with their respective injuries is all but gone.

The No. 6 seed Dallas Mavericks, who play the No. 15 seed Detroit Pistons on Thursday, are 1.5 games behind the Lakers in the standings and the No. 7 seed Portland Trail Blazers, who beat the Memphis Grizzlies 130-109 on Wednesday night, are only a half game behind the Mavericks.

The Lakers are confident that they’ll be able to finish the season strong and stay in the top-six, and if James’ return truly is imminent, they have every right to feel that way. Before James and Davis went down with their respective injuries, the Lakers had the second-best record in the NBA behind the Utah Jazz.

However, doesn’t want that confidence to present itself as complacency on the court.

“We control our own destiny,” Davis said. “We have to start playing with a sense of desperation. Even though we’re in the playoffs as of right now, we’re not that far off from being in a play-in game. We’ve got to play with a sense of desperation as well.”

The Lakers will have an opportunity to get one back when they host the No. 12 seed Sacramento Kings on Friday. The Kings lost to the Jazz 154-105 on Wednesday.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas