Lakers lose at Chicago on last-second inbounds play

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I wasn’t surprised at all,” Harris said on remaining in the game. It was a tough play. Taj slipped. It felt like he was wide open. It seemed like he grabbed the ball and went up in slow motion.”Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni defended the decision, calling Harris a “better defender, longer and a better defender.” “We didn’t slide over to cover for him,” D’Antoni said. “It wasn’t his fault. It’s the team’s fault. He’ll learn from it.”That didn’t soften the frustration, with a visibly upset Gasol walking off the court. After all, the Lakers (16-26) snapped their two-game winning streak in a season where wins have come at a premium. They also rank 13th in the Western Conference. “You don’t lose a game on one play,” said Gasol, whose 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting and 19 rebounds was offset with five turnovers. “But to lose a game like that on a layup still hurts.” The Lakers hurt in other areas.They committed 21 turnovers, including Gasol (five) and Kendall Marshall (four) as the worst offenders. The Lakers allowed D.J. Augustin to score 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting. With the Lakers leading 98-93 with 2:59 left, Chicago went on a 7-0 run while the Lakers missed their next six shots and committed two turnovers.But in the place that Michael Jordan built, Young continued his emergence as the Lakers’ go-to-closer. He capped a season-high 31 points on 11-of-23 shooting with a baseline jumper that tied the game, 100-100, with six seconds left. He had also sank three consecutive free throws to force overtime. Lakers rookie Ryan Kelly then forced an out-of-bounds with .9 seconds left, suggesting the Lakers could thrive again in double overtime. Moments later, the game ended. “We fought too hard to lose like that,” Young said. “It’s heartbreaking. We both felt hard today. But we felt like we were going to go streaking.” Instead, the Lakers fell short. A season after never wavering on the Lakers’ playoff fortunes despite the endless injuries and infighting, Bryant offered said he has “no clairvoyant powers whatsoever” on this team’s postseason chances.Yet, the Lakers say they are clinging onto hope that the same determined effort will yield a different outlook, presuming, of course, they pay attention next time on the last-second inbounds play. “It’s encouraging and you have to continue the same spirit and energy we played the last few games,” Gasol said. “That’s how you give ourselves chances. But I don’t like losing. It’s a tough one to swallow.”center_img CHICAGO >> The Lakers summed up their whole season in .9 seconds.The Lakers never give up, but a depleted roster remains usually overwhelming. Nick Young emerged as the team’s go-to-scorer without Kobe Bryant, but the Lakers still lack a closer. And the Lakers still can’t play consistent defense.Just when it appeared they could secure their third consecutive win, the Lakers squandered it all by allowing Bulls forward Taj Gibson to score on a wide-open inbounds pass from Mike Dunleavy just as time expired, ensuring the Lakers a 102-100 overtime loss to Chicago at United Center. A visibly upset Pau Gasol stood off the court, cognizant that wins this season come at a premium. The man responsible for guarding Gibson was Manny Harris, who had just played in the Development League last week. Harris guarded Gibson’s backside, believing he would pop out for a jumper. Instead, Gibson drove toward the basket. With Gasol defending the inbounds pass, he had little time to adjust. last_img

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