The Lakers (13-41) lost their seventh consecutive game on Friday night, falling to the Brooklyn Nets (22-31). Here are five takeaways from the 114-105 loss at Staples Center.
1) Neither Carlos Boozer nor Wesley Johnson knew before the game that they weren’t going to get any minutes. Both were healthy, but Coach Byron Scott chose not to play them against the Nets.
Boozer said all the right things after the game. Clearly he wasn’t happy, but he talked about supporting his teammates, who had a chance to win despite a third-quarter lapse.
For the record, Scott said he wasn’t concerned if Boozer was upset, “I think he’ll handle it as a professional, but if he doesn’t, that’s not going to bother me.”
2) According to Nets Coach Lionel Hollins, his team went right at second-year forward Ryan Kelly with guards Bojan Bogdanovic and Joe Johnson.
“They tried to play Ryan Kelly on Bojan and Bojan attacked him,” said Hollins. “They tried to play Ryan Kelly on Joe [Johnson] and we attacked him. We attacked their bigs, who were trying to guard Joe. Joe got a lot of wide-open looks and it was fun.”
The third quarter wasn’t fun for the Lakers, getting outscored, 40-20. Johnson finished with 23 points and Bogdanovic 18 while Kelly scored 12 for the Lakers.
3. The third quarter was a disaster for the Lakers.
“In boxing terms, they punched us and we just started trying to do the rope-a-dope,” said Scott. “We got on our heels. We stopped competing, or fighting fire with fire. We basically allowed them to do whatever they wanted to do. On the offensive end, we tried to do it individually instead of trying to do it as a team.”
4. The Lakers haven’t been winning, but they’ve been solid on the offensive glass over the last eight games, holding a 122-81 advantage over the opponents. The team’s bench is also consistently outscoring the opposition, doing so in 26 of the last 29 games.
5. With Minnesota (12-42) winning on Friday, the Lakers can “overtake” the Timberwolves in the NBA draft lottery standings with the two teams playing against each other twice before the end of the season. The Lakers also play the Philadelphia 76ers (12-42) two more times. Technically, if the Lakers lost every game left on the schedule, they would be guaranteed the second-worst record in the NBA -- and a top-five pick in the draft. If the Lakers fall to sixth or lower, their selection will go to the Philadelphia 76ers (via the Steve Nash trade with the Phoenix Suns).