Byron Scott was seething after the Lakers lost at home Friday to Minnesota.
He was more pragmatic a day later.
“It is what it is,” the Lakers’ coach said. “Right now we’re the worst team in the West.”
They’re alone at the bottom after losing to the other Western Conference cellar-dweller.
Scott watched the replay of the Timberwolves’ 120-119 victory when he got home Friday night. Then he watched it again Saturday morning.
It wasn’t pleasant, but it apparently could be worse. Scott was asked by a reporter if he was contemplating suicide. He said no.
“If you ever hear [I’ve] committed suicide, you know I got murdered because I’m not going to kill myself, believe me,” he said. “I might kill them, but I’m not going to kill myself.”
Watching the game two more times made Scott feel down, though.
“It didn’t look better. As a matter of fact, it looks worse,” he said. “I mean, seriously, you sit there in person and watch it and you know it’s pretty bad. But when you go home and you watch it again, I found myself shaking my head a lot of times while I was having my nice little drink of … something.”
Another on-court symptom can be added to an increasingly ailing season: The Lakers (3-13) have had trouble closing out recent games, making them interesting until the fourth quarter before adding more losses to the pile.
Their last week was a study in how not to finish tight games, as if the Lakers weren’t already suffering enough.
Kobe Bryant went three for 11 in the fourth quarter of a 101-94 overtime loss to Denver. Then the Lakers missed 10 of 11 shots in the last six minutes as the Lakers fell to Memphis, 99-93.
Bryant again misfired in the final minutes against Minnesota, missing two free throws and also the potential game-winner, a three-point shot, as time expired.
“It’s getting old,” Wesley Johnson said of the late-game collapses. “It’s always us, making mental mistakes. It’s never the opponent. It’s us not playing the right way. When it comes down to crunch time, we’ve got to start getting a stop or executing our offense.”
An optimist would say the Lakers are at least close in these games. They weren’t blown out all week after losing by 21 to Golden State and 34 to Dallas the previous week.
“I think we’re a better basketball team than what we’re playing and what our record indicates,” Scott said. “But it doesn’t matter unless we show that on the floor.”