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LeBron James’ strong message to Lakers after ugly loss vs. Suns

lebron james lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers got blown out by the Phoenix Suns, 108-90, at home on Tuesday. Yet, LeBron James is accentuating the positive.

Considering the state of the Suns — fully healthy, with largely the same roster as last season’s NBA Finals squad – compared with that of the Lakers — depleted, renovated — James’ rational attitude is understandable.

“Just stay together, stay together,” LeBron said postgame. “We know we’re in a rough patch right now with guys coming back from injury, with guys in and out of protocol. Guys that’s injured. So, let’s just stay together until we come whole, or as close to whole as possible. Obviously, we got a lot of guys out right now. But, I loved our fight, I thought we had a good fight tonight. We just couldn’t make enough plays.”

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LeBron did his part: 34 points on 13-of-19 shooting (2-of-5 from three-point range, 6-of-6 from the free-throw line), to go along with seven rebounds in 34 minutes. However, he predictably didn’t get enough offensive help from the Lakers supporting players — with the exception of Russell Westbrook, who put up 22 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and three steals, though he committed seven turnovers.

The Lakers (16-16) still have five players in health and safety protocols: Avery Bradley, Kent Bazemore, Austin Reaves, Kendrick Nunn, Malik Monk. Anthony Davis (and Nunn) are out with injury. Their head coach, Frank Vogel, remains away from the team in protocols, as well. Talen Horton-Tucker and Dwight Howard were activated from protocols today, though THT struggled mightily and Howard didn’t play.

Just another complicated stretch for the 2021-22 Lakers — and more reasons to punt on any grand conclusions about this year’s bunch.