By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
The NBA season is winding down and the Lakers are trying like heck to gain the highest spot in the playoffs. Without stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis they’ve shown inconsistency. Recently in New York they were a Jekyll and Hyde team.
While taking on Brooklyn in a tight 64-62 game in the third Lakers guard Dennis Schroder and the Nets Kyrie Irving were ejected in the third period. Schroder had scored 19 in the first half and Irving left with 18.
Andre Drummond quickly gathered those on the floor in a huddle and said, “Don’t let them get momentum off this.”
The visitors quickly took advantage of it as the outscored the Nets 60-39 the rest of the way. The defense tightened up allowing the Nets just 10 points from the ten-minute mark in the third. Drummond was a force on the inside finishing with 20 points and 11 boards.
“Were playing scrappy as hell defensively,” said coach Frank Vogal. “There are some other things we need to work on.”
Ben Mclemore playing in just his second game as a Laker hit five three-point shots in the second half and finished with 17.That led to a 126-101 win against the team without James Harden.
Two nights later they traveled crosstown and fell to the Knicks 111-96. Markeif Morris led the team is scoring with 17 as they had five players in double figures. Kyle Kuzma (14) returned after missing the last two games with a muscle strain. Drummond 10 rebounds led the team.
The big problem was turnovers they had a season high 25 this game. They were 18 points converted from those.
“Really poor passing and bad decisions and you have to give some credit to the defense,” said Vogel.
It was the ninth time this season they had 20 in a game. The Lakers are averaging an NBA worst 15.8 turnovers a game. When you look a the bottom ten in the league only Philly and the L.A. have winning records. The Lakers are .500 3-3 (at press time) on the current seven game road trip.
Against Miami Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led all scorers with 28 points and Andre Drummond added 15 to go with 12 rebounds. The team had six players score in double-digits but the downfall was 22 turnovers in a 110-104 loss to the Heat.
According to ESPN it appears Davis will be back in two weeks and LeBron about a week later.