Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant ,24, misses a shot against Portland’s Al-Farouq Aminu,8, during the third quarter at the Staples Center. Los Angeles Calif., Sunday, November,22, 2015.
(Photo by Stephen Carr / Daily Breeze)
The plan seemed pretty clear on how the Lakers would somehow stop the losing. Of course, it all started with Kobe Bryant.
“I’d like to put the ball in his hands more,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “See if he can be a little more of a facilitator.”
The Lakers soon saw the exact opposite in their 107-93 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday at Staples Center. Bryant posted 18 points on 6-of-22 shooting and four assists in 31 minutes, including 12 shots in the first 10 minutes.
“I was trying to get us off to a good start,” Bryant said.
Bryant was also trying to get his team off to a good ending. But that didn’t happen, either. He missed a 3-pointer as the Lakers trailed 95-90 with 3:39 remaining. He missed a jumper nearly two minutes later. Add all up, and second-year guard Jordan Clarkson scored more points (a team-leading 19) on much fewer shots (8-of-14).
Yet, Scott argued that Bryant “moved the ball,” considering he had four assists. Scott also refused to blame Bryant entirely for both his shooting inaccuracy and his shot selection considering the Lakers collectively shot 36.4 percent from the field.
“All of us, not just Kobe, everybody on the team needs to do a better job of trusting each other and moving the ball,” Scott said. “It gets stuck. Every shot we take is a challenge shot under duress. Until our guys trust each other, it’s going to be like that.”