The Los Angeles Lakers pulled off a comeback win against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night and attempted to do the same against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, but it wasn’t to be.
Back-to-back games are never easy, with the quick turnaround and travel involved giving the more-rested team a major advantage over their opponent. In the Lakers case, they simply couldn’t match the Kings’ energy, and as a result, walked away with a loss.
Their defense was lackluster, turnovers were abundant, and ultimately they didn’t have enough legs to erase what swelled to a 19-point deficit. Just as it had against the Bulls.
As difficult as it can be to play on the road for the second game of a back-to-back, head coach Luke Walton believed the Lakers were prepared to play, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“It’s tough to win on the road in the NBA, and I think we’re still learning that. I thought our guys actually did a really good job as far as being ready on a back-to-back to start the game. We got the stops we needed. … When Sacramento made their little run at the end of the first (quarter), it just felt like we kind of fell apart, stopped trusting what we were doing, and didn’t play with the same energy defensively, weren’t making the same crisp passes on offense, and the rest of the night we were kind of just scrambling to stay within striking distance.”
Thanksgiving and the three following days will give the Lakers some time to regroup and refocus their efforts, particularly on the defensive end where the Kings shot 55 percent from the field.
But after the four-day break, the Lakers schedule does not get much easier. They finish off the month of November with a “road” game against the Los Angeles Clippers, face the Golden State Warriors, then head into a brutal December where nearly every game is against a playoff-bound team.
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