Tuesday, December 7

The return of LeBron James, terrible third quarters and rebound problems: the Lakers react after the loss to the Celtics

A Lakers-Celtics showdown will always steal the spotlight from the other games on the NBA schedule, and Friday night was no different. The contest started competitively with nearly all of his seven leadership changes and nine first-half draws. However, the second half was a different story.

After trailing by as much as 14 in the first half, the Celtics, without two starters in Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams III, opened the game by beating the Lakers 70-47 in the second half en route to a 130-108. to win.

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While Boston improved to 8-8 with its sixth win in its last nine games, Los Angeles fell to 8-9 with its third consecutive loss and fourth in its last five games.

Therefore, there was a lot of talk when Lakers players spoke to reporters after the game.

The return of LeBron James

Even the return of James, who had missed eight games due to abdominal strain, failed to inspire the Lakers to victory.

Despite the loss, James looked great. In 32 minutes of action, he finished with 23 points (10 of 16 shots from the field), six rebounds, two assists and two steals.

“Obviously, being out for two and a half weeks, I felt like a rookie again, just being out of the game,” James said. “[I was] excited. Physically, I felt good, good enough to know that I could trust my body and play tonight. I want more to see how I feel when I wake up tomorrow. That’s the tell-tale sign if I’m moving in the right direction with my injury. “

“He looked good. He looked really good to me. Like his old self.” Anthony Davis said leave me alone.

Another lousy third quarter for the Lakers

This game ended in the third quarter when the Celtics began with a 7-0 run and finally outscored the Lakers 33-21 in the period. Getting out of the locker room seems to be a trend for these veteran Lakers.

And this is not just happening against “quality” teams. In their 24-point loss to the Timberwolves on November 12, the Lakers were outscored 40-12 in the third quarter.

Davis said finding a way to score in the third quarter has been the team’s goal. “kryptonite”.

MORE: James reacts to criticism from Celtics’ Enes Kanter

Bounce problems

Throughout this first leg of the season, the Lakers have been struggling in one huge aspect of the game: rebounding.

They are only in the middle of the group by rebounding with an average of 45.5 boards per game (16th in the league), and against the Celtics, they lost the battle on the glass by 18.

“Bouncing 51-33 tonight is not something that is part of our structure as a team.” Carmelo Anthony said.

For the season, Los Angeles opponents are grabbing 48.0 rebounds per game, which is the fourth worst mark in the league. The Lakers are also allowing 11.5 offensive rebounds per game. Only the 76ers (11.7), Kings (11.8) and Timberwolves (13.8) have allowed more.

No panic, but a sense of urgency is needed

That was the message James sent to his team after the loss.

“It’s never, ‘We have 65 games left.’ We’re very confident we need to play better, no matter who’s in the lineup,” James said. “There is no level of panic. But there should be some sense of urgency every time we speak.”

James is right. The Lakers still have 17 games left in the season, and more importantly, the team has been dealing with injuries to key players in the rotation and has seen their “Big Three” play together in just seven games.

“I think the reality is that everyone on the outside has very high expectations of our team, as they should.” Russell Westbrook said. “But the reality of our team is that we really haven’t played together.”


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