LOS ANGELES – For the second game in a row, the Los Angeles Lakers couldn’t finish a winnable clutch game. And for the second straight game, the Lakers were left lamenting an error they believed was unjustified that affected the outcome.
After Sunday’s 113-112 loss to Philadelphia, Russell Westbrook Sixers center claimed Joel Embiid He caught his arm on LA’s final offensive possession when the Lakers guard was trying to throw the ball with 3 seconds left in the game.
“I was trying to get my hands up,” Westbrook explained afterwards. “I couldn’t raise my hand to shoot because of that [Embiid] He was holding her. But everything is fine.
Westbrook showed a small group of reporters a screenshot on his cell phone that appeared to show Embiid’s left hand grabbing Westbrook’s right wrist as the 2017 MVP of the league began dribbling him toward the basket.
Official box points awarded to Sixers forwards George Niang Blocking Westbrook’s shot attempt with 3.0 seconds left, Embiid bounced back defensively with 1.0 seconds left as he made a block on the loose ball before the buzzer to seal things up.
Embiid disagreed with Westbrook’s opinion of the sequence.
“I don’t think I did him wrong,” Embiid said. “Physical play on both sides. You could have called a foul on the other end as well, on impact. So, it goes both ways.”
Then, in typical Embiid fashion, the big man in Philadelphia gave his version of events with something of a wink.
“They were pushing the ball in the transition and he was in front of me waving at everyone else. I think I’m a great defender, so I think I can stop anyone,” Embiid said. “[Westbrook] He was actually unlucky in that he lost the ball and then had nothing else to go.
“Yeah, I would say he was unlucky.”
The loss, which was the Lakers’ third in a row and came on the heels of a defeat by the Dallas Mavericks in double overtime Thursday, dropped Los Angeles to 19-24, 13th in the 15-team Western Conference.
“It’s just frustrating.” LeBron James He said. “Getting in these positions and not being able to win… We’re playing good basketball. We just don’t win games.”
Lakers coach Darvin Hamm defended his decision not to call time left with 13.1 seconds left when Embiid’s foul rebounded on defensive end and the fact that Westbrook was the one coordinating the final possession instead of James.
“At the bottom, you have one of our best playmakers on the edge, one of our best position players at the end, he has the ball with Embiid standing in front of him,” Hamm said. “I’ll take this script every weekday and twice on Sunday.
“We just finished the play. That’s it. Move stronger and stronger to the edge. That’s it. It’s that simple. And it didn’t work.”
Before the game, with Anthony Davis (right foot stress reaction), Patrick Beverly (disease other than COVID-19), Austin Reeves (left hamstring strain) f Looney Walker IV (left hamstring tendinitis), Hamm said the only automatic choices for his final squad would be James and Westbrook.
Although the end mirrors other late-game situations that led to the Lakers’ losses this season against the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers when opposing team’s heart guard Westbrook hit a hard time and Westbrook failed to capitalize, Hamm doubled down on his support for him. guard point.
Hamm said, “Just to drop one point with the ball in the hands of Russell Westbrook, I’m comfortable with that. I don’t know how many times I can repeat that. If it had been Bronn, it would have been the same.” . “It’s disappointing we lost. It’s disappointing we couldn’t finish the game. But make no mistake about it, someone fell with the ball into Ross’ hands with Embiid standing in front of him, I have faith in my players and that won’t change. We just have to play better.” “
The end spoiled a great night for the Westbrook individually and the Lakers as a team. Westbrook scored 20 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, becoming the all-time leader in triple-doubles as a substitute with his fourth career scoring.
James scored 35 points on 15-for-23 shooting, with 10 assists and eight rebounds, and moved his career tallying a total of 38,000 points—becoming the youngest player ever to reach the mark and the second player ever to do so after. Kareem Abdul-Jabbarthe NBA’s scoring leader with 38,387 points.
Still reeling from the loss, James, who was curt during his post-game remarks, said, “The best thing about this league is that you get a chance to redeem yourself really quickly.” “You still have a chance to be better the next day.
“We got another one tomorrow and we have to be ready to play against a young, fast, energetic Houston Rockets team.”