The Los Angeles Lakers let one slip away against the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night at Staples Center. Without Brandon Ingram (right quadriceps contusion and left quadriceps tendinitis), the starters were Lonzo Ball, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma and Andrew Bogut.
Hart finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in his second double-double of his career. After the game, Hart admitted that there were clearly frustrations after the loss, especially after playing so well against some of the best teams in the NBA.
Bogut admitted those frustrations went even beyond tonight’s game. With all the talk about trade rumors and Lakers cap space, Bogut said he would be lying if he didn’t feel frustrations in the locker room.
Of course, the challenge is being able to block out the noise and focus on the game, something the Lakers did a sub-par job of tonight.
Head coach Luke Walton, although disappointed with the character of his team tonight, seemed most frustrated with the officiating. Walton was very open about his confusion with the referees calls for the entirety of the season.
Additionally, Walton addresses questions about the final minutes of the game and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s missed shot to close it. And, what does Walton think about when deciding who to finish a game with?
Next up for the Lakers is Christmas Day against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center.
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