Lakers

Five takeaways from the Lakers' 119-113 loss to the San Antonio Spurs

The Lakers (11-45) lost their fourth consecutive game Friday night, falling to the San Antonio Spurs (46-9), 119-113, at Staples Center.. 

Here are five takeaways from the game.

1) After the loss, All-Star forward Kobe Bryant said he saw no reason why he'd miss time after dislocating the middle finger on his shooting hand in the fourth quarter. In fact, Bryant tried to stay in the game after trainer Gary Vitti popped the digit back into place -- but Nick Young had already subbed in for Bryant.

Bryant's ability to play through injury has been the hallmark of his 20-year career.  Of course, some injuries have been more serious than others, notably the Achilles' tendon tear, broken knee and torn rotator cuff that kept him out of most of the last few seasons.

2) Larry Nance Jr. returned from a knee injury that sidelined him for six complete games and most of five others.

In 17 minutes against the Spurs, Nance scored six points with four rebounds. Afterward, the rookie forward said his knee felt strong and pain-free throughout -- although his timing and speed were a bit off after the time off.

Nance said he enjoyed watching the NBA's dunk contest, won by Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine, who edged out a strong contender in Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon.

Nance was originally invited to compete but had to decline with his knee issue. He's said he's looking forward to entering next season.

3) Julius Randle notched his 22nd double-double of the season with 15 rebounds and 11 points.

Before the game, Coach Byron Scott indicated that Randle would keep his starting spot, even with Nance back from injury.

Randle was the team's original starter but was eventually replaced by Nance. Scott is pleased by Randle's performance, the second-year forward having posted nine double-doubles in 14 starts since the lineup change.

On the season, Randle is averaging 11.1 points and 10.1 rebounds a game, but is shooting just 41.8% from the field.

4) With Bryant scoring 25 points, Lou Williams 21 and Jordan Clarkson 20, the Lakers had three 20-plus-point scorers for just the second time this season.

The other such performance came on Jan. 7 in a 118-115 loss in Sacramento in which Bryant scored 28, D'Angelo Russell 27 and Williams 20.

Of course, the issue for the Lakers on Friday was on the defensive end.  The Spurs got 25 points from Tony Parker and double digits from five other players, even with All-Star Kawhi Leonard sitting with a calf issue.

5) The Lakers are still in last place in the West, better than just the Eastern Conference's Philadelphia 76ers (8-46).

The Lakers are 17 games behind the eighth-place Houston Rockets (28-28).

Looking ahead to the 2016 NBA draft lottery, the Lakers would have a 55.8% chance of a top-three pick in next June's draft. If the Lakers fall below third in the lottery, Philadelphia will get the team's pick as part of the Steve Nash trade, via the Suns.

If the Lakers climb a spot in the standings, their lottery odds for a top-three selection will dip to 46.9%. The closest teams ahead of the Lakers in the standings are the Phoenix Suns (14-41) and Brooklyn Nets (15-40).

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
Loading
61°