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It’s been a season full of turmoil for the Lakers, and Sunday night in the desert was more of the same.
How many times can one team hit rock bottom?
The 2021-22 Los Angeles Lakers keep testing the limits after yet another embarrassing performance on Sunday night, a 140-111 blowout loss to the Phoenix Suns.
Lakers set new low in embarrassing blowout loss to the Suns
The 140 points that the Lakers defense gave up in regulation is a historic mark for the franchise. Out of 5,825 Lakers games spanning 74 seasons, it was only the 27th time an opposing team scored 140 points or more during a regulation game. The Suns scored 48 points in the first quarter, just one 3-pointer away from tying the Golden State Warriors NBA-record 51 first-quarter points set back in January 2019.
Was it the Lakers’ worst loss of the season? Well, that’s difficult to say:
- October 27, 2021: An 8-point loss, 123-115, to the Oklahoma City Thunder in which the Lakers led 41-19 after the first quarter and by as many as 26. (A week later, the Lakers would lose again to the Thunder, blowing a 19-point first half lead.)
- January 15, 2022: A 37-point complete evisceration, 133-96, handed to them by the Denver Nuggets.
- February 27, 2022: A 28-point smackdown, 123-95, laid on by the New Orleans Pelicans at the Crypto.com Arena as the boos rained down and Lakers players could be spotted getting into it with fans.
- March 3, 2022: A 22-point loss, 132-111, to the Los Angeles Clippers, who swept the season series against the Lakers and have won seven straight in “The Battle of L.A.”
- March 9, 2022: Just last week, a 139-130 Overtime loss to the worst record in the league Houston Rockets.
There are just so many to choose from.
But even amidst such a disappointing and tumultuous season, LeBron James continues to play some of the best ball offensively of his legendary 19-year career, currently averaging 29.7 points per game, tying the most for LeBron since his 2009-10 season with the Cavs 12 years ago. Just like those old Cavs teams, LeBron is continually trying to carry this Lakers team on his king-sized back, scoring 50 points not once, but twice in the same week.
LeBron James in a class of his own
Sunday night wasn’t all for nought as LeBron became the first player in NBA history to achieve 30,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 10,000 assists. It was very fitting that his ten thousandth assist came on a pass to Carmelo Anthony, LeBron’s long-time Banana Boat friend, who knocked down a classic 3-to-the-dome.
The Lakers are currently 29-38, sitting in 9th place in the Western Conference, trailing the Clippers by 5.5 games, and with a 1.5-game lead over the 10-seed Pelicans. With only 15 games remaining, a bottom half of the Play-In Tournament seems all but guaranteed, meaning the Lakers will have to win twice just to make the playoffs and face… the Phoenix Suns.
There is, however, a question that is still worth asking now more than ever:
AD on da way?