The Los Angeles Lakers battled hard in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Philadelphia 76ers by 10 points. Although they lost 101-109 to the 76ers, the Lakers rallied from an 18-point deficit, even coming within four points.
“I feel we was trying to make the right play instead of letting things develop,” center Montrezl Harrell said. “At the end of the day, I love how we fought.”
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel noted how the squad must compete for all 48 minutes to secure a win.
“Each of the last three or four games, we have one really bad quarter,” he said.
The third was the Lakers’ bad quarter in their matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers. The reigning champions were held to 17 points during the third phase.
Double-teaming players backfired against the Lakers as the 76ers knew how to find an open man to score. One of their open men was guard Seth Curry who shoots at 43.2 percent in three-pointers.
“[The Lakers] decided to trap (forward Tobias Harris), he’s always our next option of the traps,” said Philadelphia head coach Doc Rivers. “[Harris] kept finding him,. I thought that just stretched the floor for us.”
For the Lakers to be successful, they have consistency on the offensive end, according to center Marc Gasol.
“We had too many breakdowns on the open court,” Gasol said. “Once we set our defense, when we communicate and everything and everyone is tied together, our chances of getting stops is much, much higher.”
This was the Spanish center’s first game back from his absence due to health and safety protocols. Gasol had contracted COVID-19. Headaches were one of the major symptoms that he had.
“The headaches and the difficulty to breathe were definitely, to me, the worst symptoms,” he said.
Three Lakers players scored at least 20 points with guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scoring 19 points. He mentioned how the Lakers could improve to get out of their losing streak.
“We could have got stops,” Caldwell-Pope said. “I think that’s mostly what we got to be great at, is on the defensive end.”
Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma led the squad with 25 points. His overall energy and tenacity on the glass is inspirational and infectious to teammates. Vogel mentioned that Kuzma has a “healthy spirit.”
“He’s got a great mindset to come in, get maximum effort, plays extremely hard on both sides of the ball,” Vogel said. “The mental piece of it, I do think that has picked up in the absence of (LeBron James) and (Anthony Davis).”
For the undermanned Lakers to create wins, they must prioritize togetherness.
“We got to play for each other regardless of what it is,” Caldwell-Pope said. “We got to pick each other up, no matter what it is.”