For the Lakers, it was a case of more the same.
They win one, lose one, and can’t seem to get any sort of streak going during this season of inconsistency and doubt.
Actually, you can say the season does have one regularity — and that’s that you never know what you’re going to get from one moment to the next.
All of that and more was on display during the Lakers’ 113-107 road loss to the Heat on Sunday. They fell behind big early, made a late run, then faded at the end. Basically, try as they might, they couldn’t overcome their early fog.
“Obviously, it was too late,” coach Frank Vogel told reporters of the Lakers holding the Heat to 44 points in the second half.
Or as Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register described it: “An exciting comeback from a disastrous early effort. The Lakers made it just close enough to sting.”
As it stands, the Lakers (23-24) are 1-1 on their swing through the East with four games still remaining. As it stands, they are clinging to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, with no reason to believe they’ll rise too much higher anytime soon.
And as it stands, they may need more than Anthony Davis returning from injury to turn into real threats to make their second Finals appearance in three seasons. (Davis, by the way, should return soon, as relayed by our Alejandro Avila. Davis as missed 17 straight games.)
No matter who is on the floor this season, it’s been an issue of cohesion and consistency.
“If we came out with the intensity that we had in the second half, I think we would have won the game,” guard Avery Bradley said.
But neither of the Lakers’ other starters — Trevor Ariza and Dwight Howard — scored a single point. And aside from Carmelo Anthony (11 points), no Laker other than the aforementioned scored in double figures.
“Too man breakdowns,” James said. “They made us pay every time.”
For the Lakers, that’s just been the story of the season.