Lakers struggle again with shooting, offense in loss to Cavaliers > Dogecointool

Lakers struggle again with shooting, offense in loss to Cavaliers

Midway through the fourth quarter Sunday afternoon, Lakers coach Darvin Ham stood near midcourt, slumped slightly to his left with both of his hands in pockets.

There was no magic card to be played, no tweak to be unearthed as his team came face-to-face with one of the best teams in the NBA and retreated into the offensive shell that’s been the defining trait of a team now five games below .500.

Following the Lakers’ loss Friday to Utah, Ham ‘s voice crackled as he said the Lakers’ defensive energy and intensity were unacceptable. This, he said, would not be how they played.

Yet Sunday afternoon, the problems were much bigger — a team with no shooting, limited scoring options and not enough gas to run with the younger, deeper, more skilled and more athletic Cavaliers.

Unable to control Cleveland’s backcourt and unable to create any significant offense outside of their three highest-paid players, the Lakers lost 114-100 — the same problems again emerging, only now with more confusing options.

The Lakers have already moved Russell Westbrook to the bench — a decision that’s reignited his output and made him a crucial ingredient to the Lakers’ roster. He had 19 points and 10 assists Sunday, even making three three-point shots to lead the team.

The Lakers, led by LeBron James’ 27 points, saw a 12-point first-half lead quickly get erased as the Cavaliers just soundly outplayed them in the second half. Anthony Davis finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

But the team’s shooting issues — the rest of the Lakers were just 5 of 22 from the field — combined with 17 turnovers made it yet another offensive clunker.

Donovan Mitchell scored 33, Darius Garland had 24 points and the Cavaliers moved to 8-1.

So with just under five minutes left in the fourth quarter, Ham did the only thing he could do — he benched his regulars ahead of Monday night’s game in Utah.

There was nothing left to try.

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