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The Lakers rally, but lose the heat and can't close – Orange County Register

The Lakers rally, but lose the heat and can’t close – Orange County Register

Los Angeles — Few teams are better than the Lakers in this final game of the season.

Dropping two starters and two points, the Lakers have done something almost unlikely again.

LeBron James made a steal from thin air with 5.4 seconds left and tapped it on Alex Caruso. The 36-year-old is a reliable Lakers player at these moments, except that he met a double team. Without Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroeder, the Miami Heat was happy enough to send Jimmy Butler and Kelly Olynyk on his way.

Therefore, James always does what it does with that binding. That is, pass it to the open shooter. Caruso took a long two-pointer, but it was shortened as the Lakers (22-9) took the final defeat, 96-94.

Caruso then guessed himself second, saying he didn’t expect James to be a double team, and was surprised when James returned it. But in reality, the Lakers are all trying to understand themselves. At least the next few games are trying to figure out what would happen without point guard Dennis Schroeder and all-star tycoon Anthony Davis.

“We’re thinking of a way to play without one of the creators of Dennis and one of the stars of AD,” he said. “It will take some time.”

There was growth pain at the Staples Center on Saturday night, but there was growth.

Initially, the defending champions seemed to be significantly lower than the team that did their best at the NBA Finals last October (and the heat didn’t look that sharp either). However, after allowing 36 points in the opening frame, the defense was strengthened to just 15 points in the fourth quarter.

And, as Frank Vogel said, “it should be enough to win.” That wasn’t the case, as the Lakers’ shooting was exhausted. The Lakers created 13 3 pointers in the game, but performed only one of the 13 trials in the fourth quarter. This included three mistakes from behind Ark as James tried to win by dragging 15 points in the last minute.

James, the only superstar standing in the Lakers, scored 19 points (8 to 1 from a 3-point range) with 21 shots, struggling with efficiency with 9 assists, 9 rebounds and 5 turnovers. did. Kyle Kuzma scored 11 of the Lakers’ first 17 points and finished with the team’s best 23.

But especially at the moment James left the courtroom, the individual efforts were not in harmony. The Lakers beat the heat 11 points in more than 37 minutes, but lost the rest.

The defeat dropped them to third place at the Western Conference. The Lakers said they weren’t focused at this time, but they could be sacrificed in May when the playoffs match crystallizes. Losing to Denver and Brooklyn earlier in the week, the Lakers are declining to 5-3 in the Davis-free season.

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