Los Angeles Lakers react to Nuggets thrashing and Magic’s tweet with a comeback attempt against the top-ranked Utah Jazz offense.
After LeBron James apologized to Lakers fans, the Lakers made the league’s best offense look bad with a 101-95 victory against the Utah Jazz on Monday.
After his team limited Utah to 36.9% shooting, Lakers coach Frank Vogel observed, “I believe there’s a major lesson to be learned with this bunch that we’re going nowhere without being a terrific defensive team.” “Our players finally got it together, and this is the league’s best offense by a long shot, and we did a fantastic job in all aspects.
“We know we can defeat anybody when we play like this. However, it hasn’t been consistent enough, and this game has taught us a valuable lesson. “
The franchise had a rough 48 hours building up to the game. On Saturday night, Los Angeles was defeated by Denver by a score of 37, prompting Lakers great Magic Johnson to mock the team’s effort on Twitter. In an unusual move, James did not speak to reporters after the Nuggets’ humiliation, instead tweeting his regret the following night and promising to change.
After extending his run of scoring 25 points or more to 14 games since Anthony Davis went out with a sprained MCL in his left knee, James stated, “I didn’t like what was about to come out of my lips.” As a result, I’ve chosen not to talk with you.
James said that he had no rebuttal to Johnson’s criticism and that his message was purely directed at the fans.
“I’m just accepting the responsibility and informing Laker Nation,” he stated. “It wasn’t about anybody; it was for our fans and the people who come out every day to ride and die with us. Let them know I’d taken care of it and that it wouldn’t happen again.”
For a night, at least, L.A. proved why the Lakers were a championship favorite entering into the season, according to Las Vegas bookies. But it wasn’t only James and Russell Westbrook who were leading the charge.
Stanley Johnson, who was signed to a second 10-day deal on Monday, scored 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, helping Los Angeles rally from a nine-point deficit with less than 10 minutes remaining. In the paint, he constantly challenged Rudy Gobert, the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year from Utah.
“LeBron James is an astute basketball player. So [when he says, ‘Do this,’] OK, I’ll do it. ‘Do this,’ OK, I’ll do it, “The game plan, according to Johnson. “He saw something. If you watch basketball over the past several years, you’ll see that certain teams have had success with smaller players like me attacking [Gobert] off the jump, and the key for me is to play with intensity.”
It’s one thing for Johnson, who is 6-foot-7, to go after Gobert, who stands 7-foot-1, but Westbrook, who stands 6-foot-3, did the same. In the second quarter, Westbrook hit a highlight-reel tomahawk dunk over the Jazz center, getting a technical foul as he informed Gobert.
Westbrook, who ended with 15 points, eight rebounds, and just two mistakes, said of the dunk, “It gives us some swagger, which we need.” “Especially at this time.”
L.A. had gone through a rough patch, having lost three consecutive games in which it had allowed an opponent to score 125 points or more.
Vogel’s job security has been questioned at times this season, and he was once again the subject of debate.
Before Monday’s game, the coach confessed, “Not seeing the results grinds you down.”
Westbrook let out some of his frustration early in the game when he grabbed a mop to wipe up a spill on the sideline that had caused Utah’s Donovan Mitchell to stumble.
“I don’t believe that was a little incident,” Vogel said of Westbrook’s mopping duties. “‘Hey, let’s all let go of whatever we’re feeling from a negative aspect, the clouds that come with losing, and all of that,’ was an example. Let’s let go of it and focus on the good. “
It’s difficult to say if this Lakers squad will see brighter days ahead. Davis was approved to ramp up his exercises with on-court contact by club doctors on Monday, at the same time Vogel announced that guard Kendrick Nunn, who has yet to play this season due to a bone bruise in his knee, would be “delayed” in his debut due to how his knee is reacting.
Who knows whether they’ll make it out alive?
“I’m very proud of how we reacted today,” James added. “We’ll have another struggle on Wednesday [against the visiting Indiana Pacers].