LeBron James Expresses Disappointment With Lakers’ Slow Start in Consecutive Games

Published 02/09/2021, 5:00 AM EST
Feb 6, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts during overtime against the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers required overtime to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night. They won 119-112, with LeBron James leading them to a win in the absence of Anthony Davis.

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LeBron James isn’t pleased about playing overtimes

Monday’s fixture marked the second consecutive game where the Lakers had taken the game to OT. They went into double overtime in the previous game against the Pistons, and tonight the Thunder forced the same. LeBron wasn’t too happy about this complacence from the team and spoke about it during the press conference.

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He said“Allowing ourselves to get down double-digits to start games is not something we want to do long-term.”

Feb 8, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers let the Thunder score 33 points in the first quarter and got off to a slow start. They played catchup till the end, and the game eventually went into overtime.

LeBron spoke about how he couldn’t handle double overtime, and his willingness to play just one. “I’m good with one. I’m good with one overtime as opposed to two overtimes,” he said.

Not the most comfortable win for the Lakers

Missing a player of AD’s caliber was always going to affect the Lakers’ performance and they struggled in a lot of areas against OKC. The reigning champs shot a miserable 23% from three as a team.

Dennis Schroder went 1-7 from long-range, while Kyle Kuzma was even worse and went 1-9. LeBron also shot just 2-10 from three. Despite the inefficiency, the four-time MVP buried a clutch three late in the game and stepped up when needed.

After a four-game absence, Wesley Matthews was called into action tonight and he delivered. He shot 4-5 from deep, including two crucial threes in the fourth quarter.

Feb 8, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) and guard Wesley Matthews (9) celebrate in overtime against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Thunder 119-112 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-A TODAY Sports

The Lakers also had 15 careless turnovers, which could have easily been prevented. Some of them were unforced, and the purple and gold could have potentially escaped overtime had they been more careful.

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The biggest positive from this game was their defense. Despite struggling on the offensive end, they stepped up defensively after a sloppy first half. They restricted the Thunder to just two points in OT, which sealed the game for them.

The Lakers face the Thunder again on Wednesday and will hope for a similar result, but also a more comfortable win.

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Feb 8, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) celebrate in the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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Aaron Mathew

1658 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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