It often feels like there is a disconnect between fans and players when it comes to sports and how the athletes react to losses. Fans are often more emotional while the professionals are more ... professional in their approach to defeats.
There are moments, though, when the athletes and fans share equal levels of frustration and Monday was just that for the Lakers. A completely inexplicable loss to the Pacers that featured a 17-point blown lead ended with an Andrew Nembhard buzzer beater that stunned everyone in attendance.
After the game, the players did not hide their frustrations and disappointment in the loss.
“This one stings for sure,” Anthony Davis said. “Just being up 17 I think with eight-and-a-half (minutes) to go. Then the way we lost, it was all those self-inflicted wounds. That’s one thing that we talk about is not shooting ourselves in the foot. And everything that led up to this loss and their comeback was on us. This one hurts a little bit more.”
The Lakers took a 101-87 lead just over two minutes into the final frame and looked well on their way to an easy win. Indiana, though, scored 29 points in the final 9:26 and pulled off the unlikely comeback, outscoring the Lakers by 15 points in that span.
It was a series of impressive plays from the Pacers and frustrating mistakes from the Lakers. Or, as LeBron James put it, a perfect storm.
“Everything has to go wrong in order for you to lose a game like that and everything went wrong,” James said. “You tip your hat off to Indiana. They kept playing, kept pushing.”
It wasn’t a result out of the Lakers control, though. The Pacers turned 12 offensive rebounds into 22 second-chance points across the whole game and shot 6-13 from the 3-point line in the fourth quarter.
“Defensive rebounding and they made shots,” Austin Reaves said of what turned the tide late. “Tip your hat. We have to be better in a lot of aspects in the fourth. It’s tough.”
Post-game frustration doesn’t fix the result, and there has been a fair amount of frustrating losses in recent seasons. But it does show that even the Lakers were upset about how things played out on Monday, which hasn’t always been the case in the last two years.
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