Lakers could not overcome injuries in loss to Memphis

first_imgThe Lakers finished their fourth game in five nights with the injury bug offering a stronger pinch. While D’Angelo Russell (left knee) and Nick Young (right foot) remained sidelined, the Lakers ruled out forward Larry Nance Jr. (right knee contusion) beforehand and guard Jose Calderon (strained right hamstring) eight minutes into the game.Nance and Calderon said they felt fine, though the Lakers will reevaluate them on Sunday. Russell will see team doctors on Monday. Young has stopped wearing a boot to protect the strained muscle in his right calf since Friday, though he is sidelined for one to three more weeks. “We had a lot of guys play big minutes out of position and in lineups they weren’t used to playing with because of injuries,” Walton said. “Instead of focusing on the disappointment of the loss, I’m going to focus on the fact we got after it.” Still, the Grizzlies (13-8) did not have Vince Carter (right hip), Mike Conley (lower back), James Ennis III (right calf), Chandler Parsons (left knee), Zach Randolph (personal) and Brandan Wright (left ankle). Memphis did just fine with Troy Daniels (31 points), Marc Gasol (19) and JaMychal Green (16) leading the way. Despite Walton’s encouraging outlook, he wanted more from Randle after posting 39 double-doubles in his first 100 games of his NBA career. Walton yanked Randle after he collected his third foul with 7:13 left in the third quarter. Walton and Randle then talked in depth before he went to the bench. Randle said Walton pointed out various issues, including his foul trouble and how he can improve on helpside defense. “We expect Julius to be great. There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with that,” Walton said. “Everything that I tell Julius is all about trying to make him better and make him realize this is his team as much as anybody else’s.”Walton correctly thought Randle took the feedback constructively. “It’s important to have an open communication and open dialogue,” Randle said. “He trusts what I’m saying and for me, I’m able to accept (Walton) and trust what he says.”All of which captured the Lakers’ latest growing pains both with their health and development. MEMPHIS >> The overwhelming feeling increased as the Lakers’ roster size dwindled. With everything influx, the Lakers’ available options could not come together in crunch time.The Lakers lost to the Memphis Grizzlies 103-100 on Saturday at FedEx Forum, ending a four-game trip that featured the team failing to rise to the moment. After finishing with only six points on 3-of-8 shooting and six rebounds, Lakers forward Julius Randle missed three foul shots that could have tied the game with 5.9 seconds left. “It’s over with,” Randle said. “You just try to move on to the next one.” After posting eight points on a 4-of-16 mark from the field, Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson missed a game-tying 3-pointer moments after Randle’s missed foul shots. Randle rebounded the ball and found Clarkson, whose 24-foot 3-pointer fell short with 4.8 seconds left.“I’ve been playing like some (crap) recently,” said Clarkson, who has shot 35 percent from the field in the past five games. “I have to pick it up.”Despite finishing with his second career-best performance with 40 points on a 11-of-20 mark from the field and 14-of-14 clip from the free-throw line, Lou Williams could not lift the Lakers to victory. He missed a 23-foot fade-away that could have tied the game with 20.8 seconds remaining. “At that point in the game, I’m just trying to get a shot off,” Williams said. “I’ll take that shot.”The Lakers (10-12) did not want to take a 1-3 record on their latest trip. Nonetheless, Lakers coach Luke Walton told his players he felt “real proud of the way we fought” because of external circumstances. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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