After consecutive wins over two teams atop the NBA’s standings, the Los Angeles Lakers dropped a game to the Brooklyn Nets off a final missed shot.
Los Angeles got the ball back after the review of an out of bounds call on the loose ball after the Lakers previous miss. Lakers forward LeBron James drove from the top of the arc and found superstar Anthony Davis for an open game-winning three.
“It’s a make or miss look at times,” James said after the game. “We had a hell of a look.”
James called it a great look and opportunity to win the game. He said he would have made that pass because it was the right play, regardless if it was A.D. or anyone else open. LeBron finished with 29 points, 9 assists and 12 rebounds a day after he was listed as questionable for this game with a sore groin.
Despite the final miss, Davis registered 26 points and 8 rebounds including 4-of-8 from deep.
“It was a play for him to just get downhill like he did on the last posession and DeAndre helped,” Davis said describing the last play. “He made a great pass I just missed the last shot.
Moving forward, Davis added that James will give him and his teammates opportunities to finish plays in late-game situations because he draws a ton of attention.
The Lakers were the talk of the weekend after pulling out convincing wins over the No. 1 seed in the East, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the No. 2 seed in the West, the Clippers.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said he knew there was potential for a letdown headed into the game after the emotional weekend that featured two heavy-weight opponents.
“I thought our desire to win this game to validate our weekend was at a high-level,” Vogel said after his team’s home loss. “We just fell short.”
Off the bench, Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma contributed 14 points and 5 rebounds. Lakers center Dwight Howard sat out this game with a stomach bug.
Howard’s presence was missed as the Lakers missed some crucial rebounds late.
Nets interim head coach Jacque Vaughn said this game and an added shoot around helped his team settle down after the turmoil that came with them letting go of their head coach a few days ago.
“It’s great motivation for our group,” Vaughn said after his second game as interim coach. “…You get guys believing in each other.”
Nets forward Timothe Luwawu-Cabbarot was hug with 13 points including 11 in the third quarter. Chris Chiozza also added 11 points off the bench too.
“One of the biggest wins of the year,” Luwawu-Cabbarot said after the win. “It was a good team win.”
As for the starters, Brooklyn guards Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie finished with 22 points and 23 points respectively.
“It was an extremely big win for us, especially playing against a team like that,” LeVert said after the win. “They’re playing their best basketball.”
Dinwiddie is from greater Los Angeles as a Woodland Hills native. He hit the final 18-foot pullup that would end up being the game winner.
“Credit J.V. for having the confidence to draw up the last play for me,” Dinwiddie said after the game shouting out his new coach.
Dinwiddie added that his son and being a young father was a special motivation for him in this game and overall.
“My son is the most important person on the planet to me,” Dinwiddie said about looking for his son in the Staples Center stands during the close win. “…That’s where my priority is at all times.”
Nets center DeAndre Jordan missed some free throws in the final minutes but he registered 8 points and 12 rebounds versus a noticeably more small-ball Lakers team. Nets forward Joe Harris added 12 points and 3 rebounds in 27 minutes.
Nets Versus Lakers Notes
The Lakers opened the game strong leading by as much as 31-20 with 2:36 left in the first. Bradley sparked the run with eight-straight points, including two threes, before the halfway mark in the first.
With 1:54 left in the second quarter, Spencer Dinwiddie hit both free throws to tie the game for the Nets at 54. Nets wing Joe Harris hit a long two-pointer that gave the Nets their first advantage since the first quarter at 56-54.
The Lakers would tie it. Kyle Kuzma hit a dunk on a fast break that gave Los Angeles a 58-56 lead that held until the end of halftime.
The two teams traded baskets out of the half before DeAndre Jordan caught an alley-oop from Dinwiddie that gave the Nets the advantage with 9:33 left.
LeBron James answered out of the time out with a three to make the contest 65-64 in favor of the Lakers. The teams continued trading buckets
Los Angeles trailed by eight at 86-78 after a three from Timoth Luwawu-Carrot with 1:35 left in the third. Luwawu scored 11 points in the third alone which helped the Nets comand the lead.
With 9:30 left in the third, Kyle Kuzma nailed a three that brought the Lakers within 86-89. However, the Nets answered with a three from Luwawu-Cabarrot.
The Nets took a 88-97 lead halfway through the third quarter before LeBron James checked back into the game. James hit a three from the top of the key that made it 91-97.
A few Lakers possession later and it was Anthony Davis who provided the Lakers spark with a putback that brought them within three with 4:01 left in the fourth.
James made a strong layup in the final minutes that brought the Lakers within one at 99-100.
Less than a minute remained on the game clock when DeAndre Jordan got a crucial rebound off a Dinwiddie miss. Jordan would miss both free throws on that possession.
Davis hit a three for the Lakers the other way that tied the game at 102 with 42.6 seconds. Dinwiddie scored on the next Nets possession and Los Angeles got the ball with 28.4 left on the clock.
James would hold the ball and take the next Lakers shot. It was a miss and the loose ball went out of bounds. The Lakers would get the ball back.
LeBron drove and found open Davis for a three to win it but it was no good. Brooklyn secured the win.
The Lakers homestand continues versus the Houston Rockets Thursday. Houston beat the Lakers the last time they were in Los Angeles.
Brooklyn’s road trip continues with Thursday’s game versus the Golden State Warriors.