LeBron James and coach Luke Walton were left frustrated Tuesday by the Lakers’ spectacular failure to make 3-pointers in their big loss in Denver.
The Lakers suffered a second consecutive loss, 117-85 victory, in large part because of a dismal 5-for-35 night from the arc.
Afterward, James said he felt his team played well in the first half, but the Lakers’ failure to take advantage of numerous chances left them with too much work to do.
Asked whether the result hinted at deeper issues, James told reporters: “I don’t know. I haven’t had much time to digest it.
“I think we played well in the first half, we just couldn’t make shots. We didn’t make our free throws and we had some very, very good looks at the 3-point line and those didn’t go down either.
“You have to make some. If you don’t make any, the defense shrinks more and more as they try to keep you out of the paint. Our inability to make outside shots kept the defense pretty much in the paint all day.”
Final from Denver. pic.twitter.com/PeVjLDi6FF
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) November 28, 2018
He added of the Lakers’ chances from distance: “Listen, we were 5-for-35. You ain’t winning no games like that. It’s that simple.”
Walton similarly felt L.A. faded in the second half as it struggled to make up the deficit, but he wants to see the team respond in more positive fashion in the future.
“In the first half, our priority was to keep them off the foul line and not to turn the ball over,” Walton said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t make any shots.
“Then I think we gave in a little bit to fatigue in the second half, which is unfortunate but something to work on.
“Especially on the road, when shots aren’t going in and teams are going on a run, we need to come together as a group to succeed. I don’t think we did a great job of that tonight, but it’s something to work on.”