The Lakers lost their fourth straight game to Utah, 114-89. James had only 19 points, four rebounds and four assists. The Jazz hit more than their fair share of 3-pointers, making 22 of them. The lakers are 0-4 this season against the other four contenders – the Jazz, the clippers, the nets and Philadelphia.
The Jazz made 50 3-pointers in their last two games, setting an NBA record for the most three-pointers made in two games. James failed to surpass five assists and five rebounds, ending his 15-5-5 streak to the start of the season, which stood at 32 games.
James was 1-for-5 from 3-point range. He is 12-for-61 from 3-point range in the last nine games and is shooting 19.6 percent. He has been tired lately and has been in a slump. The lakers did not score more than 100 points three times during their four-game losing streak. Since Davis’ absence, the Lakers’ offensive efficiency has slipped to the league’s second-worst.
The Lakers switched teams, starting with Markieff Morris in place of Kuzma and Tucker in place of Matthews, but the changes didn’t work. Morris had 12 points and nine rebounds, while Tucker shot 2-of-10 from the field and had just five points and three turnovers.
The lakers trailed 23-24 in the first quarter and were outscored 39-24 in the second quarter by the Jazz. The Lakers simply threw in the towel late in the quarter, sending players like Karcock, McKinney and Costas Antetokounmpo who weren’t in the rotation.
The losing streak underscored the importance of Davis and Schroder, without whom James really can’t sustain a team. It also proves that Harrell and Kuzma are more suited to supporting roles than they are to being a three-man.
In the end, the Lakers will have to rely on three stars: James, Davis and Schroder. The good news for the lakers is that schroder is expected to return for the next game against the blazers, giving them a chance to stop their slide.
However, the Lakers’ poor performance against the other four top teams this season has served as a wake-up call. Philadelphia and the nets are the top two teams in the east, and the Jazz and clippers are the top two in the west. The lakers have met each of the top four teams once this season and are 0-4. For a champion team, the ability to play tough games is crucial. The Lakers’ current performance is worrisome.
The defending champion lakers will have a tough time winning the title. The team will need to adjust after the return of Anthony Davis and bring in some players midseason to fill in the gaps.
article links：It all! The lakers won't defend their title
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