SALT LAKE CITY — Poor
They hammered the similarly woeful
If the Lakers had lost, Utah would have caught them (and Boston) in the overall standings, forging a three-way tie for the
Now the Lakers (26-55) will probably finish with the sixth-worst record and a 6.3% chance at the No. 1 pick at the May 20 lottery.
The fourth-worst team has an 11.9% chance of landing the No. 1 pick and the fifth-worst has an 8.8% chance.
"You can't tell a guy … what are you going to tell him, don't play hard?" D'Antoni said. "That's not right."
D'Antoni said he was unaware of the lottery percentages and how the victory negatively affected the Lakers there. General Manager
So the Lakers are now two games better than Utah (24-57) and one game ahead of Boston (25-56) with one game left to play Wednesday at San Antonio. Boston finishes the same day at home against Washington.
"I'm trying not to hear that," he said. "We're all trying to compete. No one wants to hear that."
"They're the same people who were mad that we were losing all year," he said. "It will work out. I don't think the person with the most [pingpong] balls got the highest pick anyway for the longest time. I think it's better for us if you look at it that way. It's going to bounce where it's going to bounce."
Monday's game was weird for many reasons. A small pocket of Lakers fans started a fairly loud "Keep
Then they chanted the names of
For a while, it was tough to predict which way this would go. Utah was 29th in the league in scoring and the Lakers were 29th in defense. So they were fittingly tied through three quarters, 86-86.
"That's what the game is about, having fun," he said before referring to his popular nickname. "And 'Swaggy P' out there hitting threes."