The Lakers were beaten soundly by the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday night, losing their 10th game in a row, 101-82.
Second-year forward Julius Randle didn't pull any punches on his team's poor performance.
"They just played harder than us," Randle said of the Hornets. "They came in today with a better mindset than us, and they just outplayed us. Not only execution-wise, defensive-wise, but I think they just played with more energy."
The Lakers shot poorly, hitting just 33.8% from the field, and they didn't make up for their offensive issues with a greater effort defensively.
"That's the thing, we didn't make shots but we let them do whatever they wanted ... it just can't happen," Randle said.
Veteran scorer Nick Young had a similar message.
"It was just a lack of effort," he said. "We just go through too many ups and downs. When we're down, we're all the way down. We've just got to get out of this funk. We've got to somehow break this losing streak."
Rookie guard D'Angelo Russell acknowledged that the losing has been painful, but said he isn't convinced the team's energy level is the issue.
"We got the shots we wanted, we just missed them. The effort was there," Russell said. "We had a great effort, but the lack of communication was the biggest [issue]."
"We have trouble communicating in practice, or we'll do it in practice, as a team, and it just doesn't translate," he said. "We might call out a switch and then don't switch. Or we'll call out, 'Go under, go under,' and still go over the top."
Randle finished the game with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Young missed all six of his shot attempts, collecting three rebounds in 25 minutes.
Russell scored 10 points with six rebounds but dished just one assist.
"It's not a good feeling -- definitely not a good feeling. You really try to look back and see what you can do to help," Russell said. "You just go on to the next game, try to add extra effort, see where that goes, but it's still not enough."
Has he lost confidence?
"I [still] feel confident," he said. "We've just got to do something different. Something's not working, we've got to do something different as a team. We can't just keep doing the thing if it's not working."
"I feel like I was improving. Now I feel like it's ... not really as much," he said.
Randle said he feels he's coming into his own, but that it's not enough.
"Whether it's the starting lineup or not, I've just matured. I've gotten better," he said.
Given their record, why are the Lakers putting out such a poor effort?
"It's just something that can't happen. Collectively as a team, we can't afford that. We can't have other teams play harder than us," Randle said. "We've got to win a game. ... I don't care how it is. We've got to play hard but we've got to win. It's all I'm going to think about until that time."
Randle said he had no real answer for the Hornets' 59-42 rebounding advantage.
"I don't know. I can't make excuses for it, why we didn't get those rebounds. It's just effort," he said.
How has he handled the nonstop losses?
"I have no clue. I've never experienced anything like this, so I have no clue how I deal with it. I just take it one day at a time," he said. "Everybody is obviously frustrated. All you can do is put your head down and keep working and give a maximum effort."