The Lakers’ 113-102 loss Tuesday night to the Sacramento Kings revealed a few of their many shortcomings. The Kings have something to say about the outcome, of course, but the Lakers played a key role in losing for the third time in 20 games.
Pau Gasol laughed with Andrew Bynum after they fumbled a rebound out of bounds on the Kings’ first possession. It wasn’t a good start, and the Lakers’ starters never really found their rhythm en route to a 56-51 deficit by halftime. They never led in the second half.
As ever, Sacramento’s quick guards proved to be a problem for the Lakers. The Kings dribbled into the paint and either drove to the basket or passed to the perimeter for open jump shots. The Kings’ aggressive play also hurt the Lakers. After the game, Gasol and Lakers coach Phil Jackson sought to explain what happened.
Said Gasol: “They played with more intensity and aggressiveness than we did. We had spurts when we matched them. We made a couple of runs, but the bottom line was that we didn’t play a good game tonight.
“We didn’t play with the mindset we should play with, which is to go out there and beat whoever we’re facing and make sure we play harder than they do. That’s the disappointing part of the loss. I’m not sure (why it didn’t happen).
“I think we have to figure out how we’re supposed to play, start being aggressive and set the tone from the beginning and keep it up for 48 minutes. … It’s become a concern. We have plenty of time to fix it, but we need to do it as soon as possible.”
Said Jackson: “The starters were lazy, or I should use the word lethargic, in the first half, and got us in a hole. I was a little bit harsh with them in the locker room at the end of the half because they (the first unit) started off the game fumbling a rebound out of bounds and giving a second-chance opportunity for Sacramento. We had situations where we just didn’t finish a play.
“Consequently, we weren’t the aggressor tonight. They were.”