The Lakers hadn’t been on this place since Oct. 20, the final time their basketball workforce got here inside one win of matching their .500 document.
That was the second recreation of the common season.
Rather a lot has modified since then.
In that loss to the Clippers, Russell Westbrook missed all 11 of his pictures, Patrick Beverley made simply 1 of seven pictures and 4 of the 5 reserves who had minutes are now not on the roster.
Nevertheless, after the Lakers turned their roster the wrong way up and with the vitality contained in the locker room fully rotated, one factor hasn’t modified.
The Lakers are nonetheless not at .500.
After profitable three straight video games, the Lakers missed an opportunity Sunday to maneuver right into a tie for sixth place within the West, shedding to the New York Knicks 112-108.
D’Angelo Russell, whose huge fourth quarter shut out the Toronto Raptors on Friday, stayed sizzling Sunday going 13-of-19 capturing for a season-high 33 factors, however was outdueled by former teammate Julius Randle.
Randle was 33 on 11 of 24 from the sector whereas capturing 8 of 11 from the free throw line, his aggressiveness setting the tone for the Knicks, who had been with out level guard Jalen Brunson.
And within the fourth quarter, RJ Barrett’s repeated makes an attempt on the basket gave the Lakers bother, his layup with 2:34 remaining placing the Knicks up by 10 factors. Barrett completed with 30 factors.
The Lakers got here again to make it a one-possession recreation within the remaining 20 seconds, however the workforce couldn’t get to a Knicks participant to foul on their remaining possession, letting 14 seconds steal the clock.
One other former Laker, Josh Hart, made each free throws to freeze the sport.
Anthony Davis scored simply 17 factors however grabbed 16 rebounds.
LeBron James returned to the Lakers’ bench after lacking the final two video games for medical causes. He now not wore the protecting boot to stroll on his injured proper foot.
“All the things goes in accordance with plan,” Ham stated of James’ restoration.
Earlier this week, James posted a video from an unknown distant location, joking about paparazzi following him as a wild animal roamed.
“I’ve been by means of this with (Kobe Bryant) and Giannis (Antetokounmpo), these guys have quite a lot of shapes, whenever you’re at that stage, you may have quite a lot of methods which you can deal with totally different accidents,” Ham stated. “And it’s additionally good that it disconnects a bit. Not essentially detaching, however simply calming down a bit mentally with every little thing that occurred throughout the 12 months. … It’s been so much.
“So it’s not nearly him being wholesome, it’s about him being in place mentally and spiritually in order that we get the most effective model of him when he comes again.”