NBA

Davis warns Lakers their season could 'go south' fast after latest loss

By Sports Desk January 04, 2024

Anthony Davis told the Los Angeles Lakers their season could "go south" quickly without immediate improvement after their latest loss to the Miami Heat.

The Lakers are 2-8 in their last 10 games after the Heat won 110-96 at Crypto.com Arena on Wednesday, led by Tyler Herro scoring 21 points as all eight Miami players hit double figures.

After a tough December, this was the first game of a run that will see LA play 11 of its next 12 at home but it did not provide an immediate reversal of fortunes.

The Lakers are now 17-18 on the season and have suffered a dramatic dip to No. 10 in the Western Conference standings since winning the NBA Cup.

Another home game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday will give them a chance to bounce back.

"We just got to compete, play hard and go out with a mindset of a must-win mentality, and hopefully that can propel us over to get back to .500 on Friday and then kind of put a streak together at home," Davis said, per ESPN. 

"I mean, we have been a really good home team thus far, and we got an opportunity to continue to build on that. But if we play how we played tonight, then it's going to go south for us really bad.

"It is a little bit of everything right now and if we keep on this trend, it’s not going to be good for us. It is kind of obvious that we have got to figure it out sooner than later.

"They threw a zone in, and they just dared us to make shots, and we didn't. Kind of took us out of our thing, but 10 turnovers in the first quarter was kind of a recipe for disaster."

Davis had a game-high 29 points as well as 17 rebounds and five blocks, but also had a team-high five turnovers. 

Austin Reaves had 24 points and eight assists in the losing effort, while LeBron James was restricted to a season-low 12 points.

"We're losing and anytime you lose, the vibe should be off, you know?" Reaves said about the low mood in the Lakers' locker room.

"If I went in and the vibe wasn't off after the rough stretch that we've had, then I'd be concerned. That's really it. I don't expect for us to be happy with how we've played. So, until we figure that out, you know, the vibe should be off. 

"We got to win games. When I say the vibe is off, it's not like we don't like each other. It's we're losing. But I don't want to get that twisted on us not liking each other. Everybody in the locker room gets along."

Miami won despite being without Jimmy Buttler, but the Lakers have also contended with injuries over recent weeks and had Rui Hachimura and D'Angelo Russell missing for this one.

Coach Darvin Ham feels constant changes to his lineup have played a major role in the team’s struggles, but also told his players they must perform better to end the slump.

"No stone shall go unturned and we are here to explore whatever we can to right the ship," he said.

"We can't find any consistency until we get healthy. It's as simple as that. We've got to get healthy. When you're dealing with different guys being in and out of the lineup that frequently, it's damn near impossible to find a rhythm. That's just being real.

"But it's a little bit of everything right now. We're not executing. That team [Miami] played harder than us, executed better than us, more physical than us. We got outworked. If we keep on this train, it's not going to be good for us.

"We got to attack and be more competitive, but we need guys to step up and play better. 

"The reason we signed them is because we know what they can do. And so you got to come with that confidence each and every night and you got to fight through it. 

"Things not going your way, you can't ball up in the corner somewhere and go cry about it. You got to step up and try to see how you can best assist your team in being successful."

Miami faces the Phoenix Suns on Friday to end their five-game road trip. The Heat are 20-14 for the season and 11-8 on the road so far, putting them fourth in the Eastern Conference.

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