Without LeBron James, Lakers can’t keep up with Kings in loss

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Lakers guard Lonnie Walker IV dunks for Sacramento Kings guard Kevin Huerter during the first half of Friday at Crypto.com Arena. Walker finished with 19 points in the Lakers’ 120-114 loss. (Mark J. Terrill / The Bharat Express News)

They have never been whole in this already painful season, injuries piled up, illnesses piled up and losses for the Lakers increased.

And just as they were recalling another player from the infirmary for their Friday night game against the Sacramento Kings at the Crypto.com Arena, the Lakers lost their best player when it was determined that LeBron James would not play due to a strained left adductor sustained. during Wednesday night’s loss to the Clippers.

James is on the day-to-day list, but his injury could leave him off the field for at least Sunday’s home game against the Brooklyn Nets.

The Lakers then don’t play again until they host the Detroit Pistons next Friday, which would give James eight days to recover.

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James had sat out a game before this injury and sat out Monday’s game in Utah due to a sore foot.

On the other hand, the Lakers did receive rearguard Lonnie Walker IV, who had served out the last two games due to a non-COVID illness. And perhaps more importantly, Anthony Davis was able to play despite not participating in Friday morning’s shootaround due to a non-COVID illness. Patrick Beverley played in his second straight game after knocking out the previous two due to non-COVID illness.

Amid all this, the Lakers are unable to win games, their 120-114 loss to the Kings on Friday extended their losing streak to five.

About 30 minutes after the game was over, Lakers coach Darin Ham finally spoke to reporters and said his “general message was to maintain our competitive advantage.”

Lakers guard Russell Westbrook, left, shoots for Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis.

Lakers guard Russell Westbrook, left, shoots for Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis in the second half of Friday. (Mark J. Terrill / The Bharat Express News)

At least he spoke. Russell Westbrook left the arena without speaking to reporters.

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“Ultimately, we all need to be on the same page, be together, compete together and be responsible,” Ham said. “And I top that list. My staff and I feel these losses more than anyone. Well, just as awesome as anyone. We can’t wait to get started and try to put some things right.”

The Lakers tied at 114-114 but failed to hold back De’Aaron TBEN as they watched him blast through Lakers defenders to score back-to-back baskets in court to give the Kings a four-point lead giving the guard 32 points to go with 12 assists.

The Lakers, meanwhile, missed their last six shots after the score was tied, none of them coming close.

So even with Davis producing 24 points and 14 rebounds, Westbrook 21 points, 11 assists and five turnovers and Austin Reaves 19 points, the Lakers couldn’t win because their defense failed them again when it was needed most.

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“There’s no worse feeling than losing, especially when you put all your time and effort into the game and really love it,” Walker said. “It’s a long season. I have to stay optimistic.”

The Lakers are now tied 2-10 with the Houston Rockets for the worst record in the NBA. The Lakers were not eight games under .500 last season until March 3.

“We know there’s a sense of urgency where we need to get on the right side of these games,” Ham said. “For me, I can’t sit in a corner with my baby bottle and start crying and whining. I have to fucking get out. That’s what I’m planning to do. Me and my staff, everyone in that building. We have to get the join hands and try to make this thing work.”

etc.

The Lakers said Thomas Bryant, who underwent surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament of his left thumb, and Dennis Schroder, who underwent surgery to repair the collateral ligament of his right thumb, were both reevaluated this week and that both are doing well. progress. Both Bryant and Schroder will be reevaluated on Thursday.

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.