Lakers continue their losing ways as they fall, 101-88, to Wizards
The chants kept coming with Kobe Bryant on the bench, as if Lakers fans wanted him to play all 48 minutes.
The “We want Kobe!” chorus was understandable. The product on the court wasn’t entertaining at all.
The Lakers fell to the Washington Wizards, 101-88, in a loss with the workings of so many others.
Boring, one-dimensional offense with very little team play (15 total assists). Uninterested defense with teammates rarely covering for one another. It’s all so repetitive.
Lakers Coach Byron Scott grabbed one of the digital voice recorders on the table during his postgame interview Sunday at Staples Center.
“I even tell the guys it’s like a broken record,” he said. “We talk about the same things over and over again. I want to sometimes just tape myself and just play it. Let me just save my breath and just tape it.”
Has his message been lost with the players?
“I feel they’re hearing it. They’re just not applying it,” Scott said. “It’s either not applying it or they can’t apply it. I’m just going to keep preaching it to them until they get it.”
Mercifully, only nine games remain for the Lakers (15-58).
Jordan Clarkson missed his first six shots and didn’t score until midway through the fourth quarter. He finished with two points, his lowest total since last April.
Julius Randle stepped back a bit from the triple-double he earned Friday against Denver, totaling 14 points, seven rebounds and one assist Sunday, most of it with the game out of reach.
The Lakers’ defense continued to be bottom-level as Wizards guard John Wall ran free for 22 points and 13 assists.
Time is running out on Bryant’s 20-year career. He gave perhaps his last interview in front of his locker. There are four home games left, and media interest probably will swell to the point where he’ll head to the interview room the rest of the way.
“I can’t even see you,” he said to a reporter asking a question in the thick throng around him.
“I’ve done a lot of interviews here standing in front of this locker. The one I’ll always remember is the night I ruptured my Achilles’. I’ll miss standing here and watching you guys elbow each other.”
Bryant scored 17 points against Washington on six-for-15 shooting. He was one of the Lakers’ more efficient players.
Lakers forward Kobe Bryant gives Wizards guard John Wall a hug at the start of their game on March 27.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Wizards forward Marcus Thornton applies the pressure on Lakers forward Ryan Kelly.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Lakers forward Larry Nance, Jr. tries to regain control of a loose ball while Wizards guard Garrett Temple dives for the steal attempt.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Lakers guard Marcelo Huertas goes up and makes a mid-range floater against the Washington Wizards.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Lakers forward Kobe Bryant looks to the rafters before the start of a game against the Washington Wizards.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Wizards guard Garrett Temple, bottom, and Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. battle for a loose ball during the second half.(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Lakers forward Kobe Bryant Lakers tries to maintain control of the ball while going to the basket against Wizards forward Marcus Thornton. Bryant missed the layup.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Lakers forward Kobe Bryant loses control of the ball against the defense of Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Lakers forward Julius Randle, left, reaches in on Wizards center Nene during the first half.(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Lakers forward Kobe Bryant shoots a layup during the first half.(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Lakers point guard D'Angelo Russell (1) drives by Wizards guard John Wall (2).(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Lakers forward Kobe Bryant, center, celebrates after scoring a three-point basket during the first half.(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
As they trailed by 23 in the fourth quarter, the chanting began anew in earnest. Fans went wild a few seconds later when Bryant was shown on the scoreboard while sitting at the end of the bench.
He did not get back in the game. Scott acknowledged hearing the chants. It would be hard to believe if he said otherwise.
“At the time they’re yelling it, we’re down 20 points. You really think I’m going to put him back in with six, seven minutes left and we’re down 20 points?” he said. “I wouldn’t fathom putting him in at that particular time.”
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