No doubt the most common reaction in the wake of the Lakers’ stunning 118-117 loss Tuesday to the Indiana Pacers will be: “What happened?” Well, upon further review, the Lakers got beat on the boards, had fewer assists than the Pacers and got outscored, 32-16, in the fourth quarter. What happened? They got beat, that’s what happened.
Why they got beat is just as simple: They played a lackluster game from the start and outside of a 17-0 run to close the third quarter, didn’t play with the required energy or efficiency to beat an athletic team like the Pacers.
“They did a great job on the offensive boards and our turnovers created momentum for them and their 3-point shooting kept them in the game,” Kobe Bryant said of the Pacers.
Asked about the Pacers’ 50-41 rebounding edge, which including a staggering 19 offensive boards, Pau Gasol said, “We weren’t able to box out all the way to the free throw line and when the rebounds were long (off perimeter shots), they were able to run them down and get a lot of extra shots.”
Toughest to stomach was Troy Murphy’s game-winning tip-in off Marquis Daniels’ missed reverse layup in the closing seconds. The ball bounced once, twice, three times and maybe more if you count the side-to-side action before it fell through the hoop.
“I knew it was going in by the way it was bouncing on the rim,” Bryant said.