The Clippers have gone beyond just stripping away the basketball superiority the Lakers once secured with 16 NBA championships. The Clippers also appear to have given them their curse, a well popularized theory explaining the franchise’s fortune of bad luck, questionable management decisions and poor play.
The Lakers’ 120-97 loss Sunday to the Clippers in a designated road game at Staples Center featured two more injured players, an unthinkable prospect considering the Lakers already fielded a nine-man rotation.
Kent Bazemore sprained and heard what he called a “pop” in his right foot with 10:08 left in the second quarter before sitting out the rest of the game. X-rays turned out negative, but Bazemore plans to receive an MRI on Monday to assess the damage.
Nick Young also experienced soreness in his left knee after chasing a loose ball in the final minute of the third quarter. He returned for four minutes midway through the fourth quarter before shutting him down.
“They’re trying to get through it,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “They’re playing extra minutes because we don’t have an extra rotation.”
Indeed they don’t.
The Lakers already fielded season-ending injuries to Kobe Bryant (fractured left knee) and Xavier Henry (bone bruise in right knee) as well as day-to-day ailments to Pau Gasol (vertigo), Chris Kaman (strained right calf), Steve Nash (nerve irritation in back) and Jordan Farmar (strained right groin).
If there is any consolation, both Nash and Farmar are expected to play Tuesday against the Houston Rockets.
Young showed plenty of frustration on the bench with a towel draped over his head. He reentered the game with 8:53 remaining, but lasted only four minutes. Young posted 18 points albeit on 5 of 15 shooting.
“I’m just going to go out with the ship and hang in there with the guys,” said Young, who plans to receive treatment on his knee, which also experienced a bone bruise that sidelined him this season for 16 games. “I’m trying to fight until the end.”
Bazemore attributed his injury toward playing a lot of minutes. He had also sprained his left foot his senior year at Old Dominion, an injury that required a screw.
“I’m not in a position where I can afford to miss games,” said Bazemore, mindful that he will become a free agent this offseason. “Tomorrow will tell all. If I’m able to go, you’ll see me out there.”