The Los Angeles Lakers suffered the worst collapse in a loss in 25 years on Wednesday night, losing 123-115 to the Oklahoma City Thunder. It could be considered that bad of a loss just from losing to this Thunder roster alone, but it is objectively the worst come-from-behind loss the team has suffered as they were 230-0 in games where they had a 25+ lead coming into Wednesday’s game (h/t Chris Geeter of Spectrum SportsNet).
What a wild stat on Lakers post game show by @geeter3 on LA’s collapse in OKC.
In the last 25 years, previous to tonight – the Lakers were 230-0 when up 25 points in a game.
— Jorge Sedano (@Sedano) October 28, 2021
The mood was obviously sour for Frank Vogel, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and the rest of the Lakers following the loss. However, they still had to answer to the media before getting on the plane and heading back to Los Angeles, with everyone giving their own answers regarding what went wrong (Jacob Rude of Silver Screen & Roll reported the following quote).
I think we took our foot off the gas after that big first quarter lead, which happens in the NBA,” Frank Vogel stated when asked what went wrong on Wednesday. “Usually, you can catch yourselves and sustain it but we weren’t able to do that both in that second quarter and particularly that third quarter in the second half. The ball stopped moving side to side. I have to do a better job making sure that our guys are moving it side to side. Our focus, intensity, and effort on the defensive end, that slipped as well. Disappointing loss, but lesson learned. NBA season is a long season and a lesson for our group that you can’t ever take your foot off the gas for anyone.
Carmelo Anthony — who air-balled a three-point opportunity to tie during a frantic possession in the waning moments of the game — said similar things as Vogel afterward (h/t Mr. Rude of SS&R again).
“They kept playing the same way the whole game. We had dead spots throughout the game.”
“Shoot, we’ll leave it here,” Anthony said in regards to how to process this loss.”We’ll leave that one here and get ready for Friday.”
Russell Westbrook notched his first-ever triple-double for the Lakers, the first of many hopefully for the hometown kid. However, he also sort of had a quadruple-double, as he had his season-high in turnovers with 10. With the turnovers and despite the triple-double, Russ ended the night leading the team with the worst box plus/minus at -12. He did not have any excuses for his carelessness with the ball.
Russell Westbrook on his turnovers:
“I got to take care of the ball. Simple."
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) October 28, 2021
Anthony Davis was extremely adamant afterwards that this was not a case of the team being in an adjustment period due to only three players returning from last season (with one of those players yet to even play in Talen Horton-Tucker). He also mentioned defensive issues as Vogel did, however, Davis focused much more on that side in his explanation of why they lost.
Anthony Davis: "I’m not worried about the offense. We’ve been a team that’s been in the middle of the pack or below all year on the defensive end, and we have to get better at that first."
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) October 28, 2021
Luckily, the Lakers don’t have to play the best of the best when they return to Staples Center on Friday night, as they play the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, let’s hope the team will not assume the night will be an automatic win just because the Cavs are young, inexperienced, and far less talented than the Lakers. They’ll be coming into the night 3-2, beating the Clippers at home on Wednesday 92-79. We’ll have to see if LeBron James can return from his sore ankle, as his presence would be welcomed with the widest of open arms so that he can right the ship and get the Lakers back on track.