May 23, 2024

The problems aren’t a mystery. But the solutions? Those haven’t been figured out.

Again, the Lakers were beaten on the offensive glass. Again, the Lakers were careless with the ball. And again, the Lakers were losers on the road, falling to the Miami Heat 108-107 on Monday night.

The Lakers had multiple chances down the stretch to take control, but Austin Reaves, LeBron James and Cam Reddish all missed key three-point shots.

“That’s the beauty of basketball … the frustration of what it is tonight,” Reaves said. “Some nights, those go in and we might get like a 10-0 run and win by eight, big win. Good win, good comeback win. Nights like tonight, they don’t fall. And obviously, you’re pissed off.”

After calling their mistakes against the Orlando Magic on Saturday self-inflicted, the problems Monday were more scattered, the team remaining winless on the road this season.

They could, of course, control the 13 second- chance points they gave up and the 17 turnovers, plenty of which were unforced. The Lakers also could’ve been more composed, D’Angelo Russell’s two technical fouls in the fourth quarter leading to an ejection. The Lakers also were assessed another technical in the fourth for a delay of game, frustrating players and coaches.

The other major issue was more random, Anthony Davis injuring his hip and finishing the game on the bench after multiple attempts to return.

Davis said he injured the hip on a spin move.

He stayed on the court while the Lakers called timeout before slowly walking back to the locker room. The team termed it a “hip spasm,” and after halftime, Davis went through warmups and started the second half. But after two minutes, he needed to leave the game, as he continued to limp and was clearly in discomfort.

He went back to the locker room and returned later in the third quarter only to begin grimacing again while he grabbed at his leg. He didn’t return after that.

“Just awkward. Spazzed up,” he said. “But felt fine coming out of halftime. Then it kinda just spazzed up again. Then, went to go get wrapped up, felt fine for a longer stint, three minutes, then it kinda just spazzed up again … I’ll be fine.”

He said he hoped to play Wednesday in Houston.

The injury comes with the Lakers already significantly hampered.

Rui Hachimura remains in concussion protocol. Jarred Vanderbilt is still doing mostly stationary on-court work as he recovers from a heel injury. Gabe Vincent (knee) isn’t with the team on its trip. And Jaxson Hayes, one of the Lakers’ primary back-up big men, wasn’t available because of an ankle injury.

James scored 30 points and Reaves had 23 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

“One thing about Miami, if you don’t play hard they will beat you down,” James said. “We saw that in that third quarter when they started to really like take it to us because we were not matching their intensity and they were getting out and running and moving and sharing the ball.

“So, it was either one or the other. You either match their intensity or they were going to blow you out.”

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