The glaring weaknesses in the team came to the fore as LA Lakers went down to the Hornets without Anthony Davis and LeBron James. The regular players along with Russell Westbrook came up short.
Few had expected the team to match up to the Hornets without Davis and James, out with wrist and knee injuries. But though the Lakers went down finally, the margin was narrow at 117-114 as they fought valiantly. A strong 2nd half surge by Russell Westbrook helped the team fight till the end.
LA Lakers were at 18-5 at the start as their lineup was lacking, but the reserves came back strongly to within 2 points going into the 2nd quarter. But then they were overcome and entered halftime at 65-49.
The Hornets seized on the halftime lead and pushed it to 20 points going into the 3rd quarter. At that stage, LA seemed set to cave in at that stage. But then the team displayed an impressive fightback helped by the reserves. Westbrook led the charge the deficit was down to a close 87-85 going into the final quarter.
But the lack of depth showed up and the Hornets were up a comfortable 111-102. The deficit was too huge for the Lakers to make up. The Hornets are at 28-22 and are not a powerhouse. But they were better than the shorthanded Lakers even without Hayward.
Westbrook’s High Of 35 Points Could Not Save Lakers In The End
Westbrook ended with a high of 35 and kept the LA Lakers in the game with some absolutely brilliant shot-making along the length. But he came up short and missed a 3 with seconds to go and that might have won it for the Lakers.
While there are no points for a moral victory for a team with such high expectations from the start of the season, they will go into the next game with high expectations. And also with the hope that the stars return soon.