April 12, 2017
The Lakers season came to an end Wednesday night in Oakland, which came after a 109-94 loss to the Warriors.
The game was rather meaningless for both teams. The Lakers were officially eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago, and they were already locked into the 3rd worst record in the league prior to the NBA Draft Lottery. The Warriors had already clinched home court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs, and rested Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala.
The Lakers played their regular rotation, with the exception of D’Angelo Russell, who was still in Louisville, Ky, mourning the death of his grandmother.
Jordan Clarkson led the Lakers with 17 points, while it was Kevin Durant leading all scorers with 29 points in the game.
The Lakers only lead was 3-2, which came 90 seconds into the game. They trailed by 15 points after the 1st quarter, and were down 64-50 at the half.
During the 4th quarter they trailed by as many as 27 points, before fighting back and cutting the lead to under 20 points.
Walton put the season into perspective after the game. “This wasn’t, coming in, ‘Hey let’s go turn this thing around in year one, competing for a title. … We didn’t have the same goals as Golden State had starting this year, or Cleveland starting this year,” he said. “Our goal from the coaching standpoint was getting better at passing, getting better at playing defense, making reads on the court, having the individual skill level of the young guys. That’s where we’re at right now and that’s going to continue into the summer.”
The Lakers now turn to the offseason where the biggest question will be whether or not they will retain their top 3 protected 1st round pick, or if they will be forced to trade it to Philadelphia if the pick falls out of the first 3 slots. In the meantime, the team will begin their exit interviews tomorrow.