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Twitter Criticizes Short-Handed Lakers in Loss to Nets With LeBron, Davis Out Injured

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 31, 2023

BROOKLYN, NY - JANUARY 30: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball during the game against the Brooklyn Nets on January 30, 2023 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

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:

Michael Corvo @michaelcorvoNBA

Russell Westbrook had a nice stretch running the second unit in the third quarter, but he just can't shoot 5-of-15 and have 6 turnovers if the Lakers want to a win a game without LeBron and AD.

Kyle Goon @kylegoon

The Lakers have not been within single digits of Nets for the whole second quarter. That's about how everything is going.

πŸ†LakersGuruπŸ† @GuruLakers

Darvin doesn't expect to win tonight he doesn't think that we can.<br><br>he played 10 players in the first quarter. He is coaching players playing a back to back. He's not coaching players to win a basketball game

πŸ†LakersGuruπŸ† @GuruLakers

Darvin gets in trouble and starts the fourth quarter with Russell Westbrook at power forward most unserious coach of all time

Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT @3cbPerformance

You can't put Bryant with 4 guards and expect to stop anyone defensively. It's just silly man. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Lakers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Lakers</a>

Lakers Nation @LakersNation

I will say Russ continues to play hard all the way to the end, but this late-game stretch from him was not great.

500 🏎 @Kameron_Hay

Why tf are the Lakers using Russ in the sixth man role in games LeBron and AD both are sitting? And then why are they subbing Rui out for Russ? Play them together

Letting Go @ProvideContext

Ham saw the Lakers getting cooked inside with Bryant. So instead of bringing in Rui and Gabriel and actually giving them some length, he goes tiny by keeping Bev and Dennis and bringing in Rui at the 5.<br><br>I am tired.

claire de lune @ClaireMPLS

exhibit a why wenyen should be getting minutes over the 3 guard lineup darvin is so obsessed with

DTLF @DantheLakersFAN

We have ZERO inside defense without AD.πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™‚οΈ Evaluate that <a href="https://twitter.com/Lakers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Lakers</a>

Michael Corvo @michaelcorvoNBA

Russell Westbrook with a horrible 3 then turnover as crunchtime begins...

Lakers Nation @LakersNation

I would be OK with simulating the rest of this game. What about you guys?

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.