Plenty of blame for Lakers’ loss, beginning with Anthony Davis

When the Lakers wanted him most on Friday, Anthony Davis allow them to down.

Once they have been forward of Dallas by 4 factors with 7.2 seconds left within the fourth quarter and wanted him to be good, he foolishly contested a three-point shot by Maxi Kleber and was referred to as for a foul. Kleber, who had taken solely 24 free throws earlier than Friday and made 58% of them, hit all three to chop the Lakers’ result in one level.

Once they wanted Davis to hit a pair of free throws with 6.7 seconds left he transformed just one, leaving the Lakers up by two. And when Dallas subsequently inbounded the ball, Davis acquired misplaced defensively, closing method too late to forestall Kleber from sinking a 27-foot jumper for the distinction in a 111-110 victory over the Lakers that surprised the sellout crowd at Area.

The Lakers’ loss within the opener of a five-game homestand wasn’t on Davis alone. They missed 5 photographs after they took a 107-102 lead with 3:16 to play. They transformed solely 19 of 31 free throws within the recreation. “We make our free throws, we’re probably not having this conversation,” coach Darvin Ham mentioned.

However they didn’t make these free throws, and Davis didn’t lead them emotionally or by instance.

With an opportunity to realize floor on the groups they’re battling for a spot within the play-in match, the Lakers have been their worst selves when the state of affairs demanded that they be at their finest. After their second straight loss, the distinction between them and eleventh place within the standings — out of play-in rivalry — was .001.

“We’re missing our opportunities, for sure. It’s frustrating,” Davis mentioned after a 28-point, 20-rebound efficiency that was overshadowed by his late misplays.

“We’re still in a position to do something special, with the way we started,” he mentioned, referring to the group’s 2-10 starting to the season. “We just got to talk about this one [Saturday], figure out a way to get better for Sunday and then win the next four at home before we go to Chicago.”

With LeBron James nonetheless recovering from a foot harm, the Lakers wanted Davis to guide them Friday. Encourage them. Carry them. He didn’t. There’s no getting round that.

Earlier than Davis mentioned anything to his teammates after the sport, he informed them the final play was his fault. He mentioned he’d watch movie Saturday and observe free throws. However the likelihood to maneuver up was misplaced, leaving the Lakers on the draw back of an emotional seesaw and below mounting strain each recreation.

“At the end of the day, there’s nothing we can do about it, to be honest. It happened,” Davis mentioned of the missed alternatives and the loss. “Our focus is now Sunday, trying to get a win against Orlando. But this one is tough, the way it ended.”

He mentioned he felt nice after sitting out Wednesday at Houston for the ever-unpopular load administration causes associated to his proper foot stress harm. So there have been no bodily issues he might blame Friday, although he had ice packs taped to each knees and each toes caught in buckets of ice after the sport.

Requested about his positioning when he fouled Kleber on the three-point try, he mentioned he tried to contest it from the facet. “I’m smart, I never really jump straight in front of people because they jump so far. I still probably clipped him a little bit. I haven’t looked at it,” he mentioned. “But I just tried to really jump on the side of him. I actually think he shot it a little left, honestly, but a couple bad defensive plays by me.”

On his missed free throw with 6.7 seconds left, he mentioned he shot slightly to the fitting. “We would have been up three after that point. Still kind of processing it,” mentioned Davis, who was eight for 11 from the free-throw line. “I mean, you think about it, up three, even if he makes a three, overtime.” He sighed. “I mean, a tough loss,” he added.

On the ultimate play, he acknowledged he didn’t anticipate what Kyrie Irving would do after Irving took a cross from Theo Pinson on the Mavericks’ second try and inbound the ball.

“With seven seconds he dribbled almost the whole clock out. Me just reading him, knowing that he was probably going to take the last shot, he goes into his actual shooting motion and just comes down with it, doesn’t shoot it,” Davis mentioned. “So when he goes up, it kind of pulled me in. I was going for the rebound, thinking he was shooting it. Then he made a pass to Kleber. And he makes a shot.”

Wenyen Gabriel mentioned Davis’ willingness to take the blame proved Davis is a worthy chief.

“He’s our best player right now and that just shows that taking accountability as being the best player,” Gabriel mentioned. “That’s something that’s important for the continuity as a team and having trust in each other and obviously we trust AD. That was just a moment. It’s obviously not just on AD, but him taking accountability for that is something that is important instead of pointing fingers in terms of chemistry going forward.

“But we didn’t make a few free throws. Kleber hit a great shot at the end. We got to get out there, but we can’t do anything about that. We’re going to have to rely on AD heavily throughout this final stretch. We’re going to have to really come together at this point. This is not the time for us to be pointing the finger or separating from each other. This is where we’re going to have to dig down deep and it’s going to show the identity of our team.”

The Lakers nearly actually will get into the play-in match, partly as a result of all of the groups they’re competing with are beating one another most nights and since Portland and New Orleans are fading. They need to be higher than this, hoping for a spot in a contrived, expanded postseason setup. In the event that they’re going to be higher, Davis should be higher, too.