NBA: Lakers ‘extremely disappointed’ after missing out on playoffs
The Los Angeles Lakers were officially out of post-season contention on Tuesday as the Phoenix Suns beat the crisis-stricken NBA giants with their seventh straight loss.
With an injured LeBron James watching from the sidelines, the Lakers ‘faint’ hopes of reaching the knockout round have been dashed when the leaders of the Western Conference turned on style to complete a convincing 121-110 victory in Phoenix.
Los Angeles — and San Antonio’s 116-97 win over the Denver Nuggets earlier on Tuesday — mean the Lakers won’t be in post-season for the first time since 2019.
This is only the fourth time since James joined the league in 2003, the new NBA superstar failed to make it through season after season.
“We are extremely disappointed,” said Lakers coach Frank Vogel. “Disappointed by our fan base, disappointed by[ownership]which gave us this opportunity.
“We wanted to play our part in bringing success to Laker basketball, and we failed. It is not due to lack of effort. We were all put to work.
“The boys still fought to the end. We’ve brought integrity to the process we’ve come across over a disjointed season. We are all disappointed.”
Tuesday’s loss brought the curtain down on a miserable campaign for the Lakers.
A decision to rebuild their lineup last year in a blockbuster deal for Russell Westbrook was a spectacular failure, notably a long-term injury to Anthony Davis that kept the star striker out for about half a season.
An atmosphere of gloom has pervaded the NBA’s sexiest franchise in recent weeks, as loss after costly losses piled up leaving the 17-time NBA champion in need of a string of magical results to somehow win. tickets to play in the tournament.
Ahead of Tuesday’s game, social media was boiling with speculation that the Lakers would quickly fire their alleged coach Vogel, who led the team to the NBA championship in 2020.
Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers and Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder have both been linked to the Lakers hot seat.
With San Antonio’s narrow win over Denver before the Lakers-Suns game was over, Los Angeles knew only a win could make a difference in Phoenix.
‘Play for our lives’
But after a bright opening, they were quickly surpassed.
The Suns took a 59-50 lead just before half-time and kept the hammer in the third, Devin Booker made a three-point jump to put Phoenix in an 84-65 lead before the Suns took a clear 26 points. .
Booker leads the way for Phoenix with 32 points, with Deandre Ayton adding 22 points.
Vogel said knowledge of San Antonio’s win over Denver hasn’t changed his team’s approach against Phoenix.
“We’ve played for our lives the last five, six, seven games,” Vogel said. “It doesn’t change anything.”
Westbrook, meanwhile, can’t pinpoint exactly how badly the Lakers’ season has gone.
“Not a single thing,” Westbrook said. “There were a lot of different things that happened but I don’t like pointing fingers or blaming anyone.”
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