Twitter Criticizes Short-Handed Lakers in Loss to Nets With LeBron, Davis Out InjuredJanuary 31, 2023
It was no LeBron James, no Anthony Davis and no win for the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday.
Los Angeles dropped its second straight and fell to 23-28 on the season with a 121-104 loss to the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. The visitors weren't the only ones who were short-handed, as the Nets prevailed without Kevin Durant or Ben Simmons in a game that was missing plenty of star power.
Kyrie Irving expectedly led the way for Brooklyn with 26 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals, while Russell Westbrook posted a double-double of 17 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds on the other side.
The Lakers fell behind early, made a run to take the lead in the third quarter and ultimately collapsed down the stretch in a showing that earned plenty of criticism even without their two main stars:
It seemed as if the Nets were going to cruise to a straightforward win when they jumped out to a double-digit advantage in the first quarter, but the Purple and Gold do deserve some credit for storming back.
Westbrook was at his best when he was distributing and even moved ahead of Gary Payton for 10th place on the NBA's all-time assist leaderboard. Wenyen Gabriel also provided a spark off the bench, while Thomas Bryant and Troy Brown Jr. controlled the boards as two of seven Lakers who scored in double figures.
It was enough to give the visitors the lead, but Westbrook started to force the issue at times on his way to 5-of-15 shooting with six turnovers. The Nets capitalized and controlled the fourth quarter, avoiding what would have been a poor loss on their home floor.
Los Angeles will look to bounce back Tuesday when it visits the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.