ATLANTA – The Los Angeles Lakers registered for the all-star break on Tuesday, falling below the .500 mark for the first time since November 7 after a 117-113 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
At 28-29, the Lakers are 2.5 games away from the Sacramento Kings for last place in the Western Conference playoffs. For James, this is the last of the season that his team has a record of less than .500 since the Cleveland Cavaliers finished their rookie season 35-47 in 2003-04.
If the Lakers want to stay in the Anthony Davis draw this summer, they may have to be creative.
The NBA said on Tuesday that Lakers chairman Magic Johnson had broken no falsification rules after a clash on Monday over whether Los Angeles would have got the better of the 76ers Philadelphia leader's goal. Ben Simmons.
"It's a tough defeat for us," said James. "We did not have a consistent game in every facet of the game. Offensively and defensively, we raised a lot of blankets to start the game. In the third quarter, we still increased a lot of our covers as we do. for some time, we have to be much better. "
LA allowed the Hawks, who have 19 games under .500, to score 65 points in the first half and be dragged up to 10 points. Tuesday's loss came after the Lakers allowed the Philadelphia 76ers to score 76 points in the first half in a possible loss of 143-120 on Sunday.
Bodyguard, Rajon Rondo, also pointed to Lakers' defensive efforts, saying they "must collectively try to find a way to stop."
"We gave up a lot of points in the last few games, eight to ten games – and that's only a barrage, and we have not won a lot of shots on goal," he said. Rondo. "So we need to find a way to get a different dynamic as well as a defensive one to get stops."
The Lakers coach, Luke Walton, said he wanted his team to take the break to recover mentally and physically, and be seriously engaged in the resumption of the season on his return.
"Coming back revitalized with the idea of, let's try to do something special," Walton said. "Let's give sacrifices, go out and give for the team … That's why I asked the guys to stay quiet a little on the weekend." I know everyone has their family and its events, but spend time alone, and, as I said, I think we have a group that will be ready to go when we come back. "
James will leave the country for a brief vacation, sources told ESPN, before heading to Charlotte to participate in his 15th consecutive game of stars, LeBron team commander against Giannis' team.
"You have to decompress and get away from the game a bit," he said. "These guys will have a lot more time than me, of course, I'll be back in two days, but refresh yourself, do you think, put your body in order." Come back with the idea that we're He will make the playoffs. "
Kyle Kuzma will compete in the MTN DEW ICE ICE Rising Star game on Friday and the Taco Bell Skills Challenge on Saturday. Lonzo Ball was also selected to be part of the US team in the all-star game, but he was injured in the ankle.
"We just have to make the game fun," said Kuzma. "We just have to remember why we started playing this game. Play for fun, not as a business, without too much stress on the court." I think the break from the star game will be really good. for us, especially to break with everyone and recharge your strength and find a new concentration. "
Tuesday was the third defeat of the last 19 games of the Lakers against one of the residents of the league's basement, compounding the losses of the 12-45 Cleveland Cavaliers and 10-45 New York Knicks.
James was asked if his team had made the sense of urgency every night.
"Just a little sense of urgency in every game, how important each game is, when the guys have never played in the playoffs, so you can not teach them, but it's very important." to understand how important each game is, no matter who you play and where you are, "he said.
James was then asked if some players had already mentally checked as the break approached.
"It's a possibility," he says.
All was not lost, however. James toured the locker room wishing good luck to his teammates before dodging with a few bottles of wine for his flight to a distant destination.
"It's time for us to get away and think a bit about our group position," Walton said. "I think this first half of the season we have gone through a lot of adversities as a group, and, you know, we're probably not where we want to be, but we're still pretty close. We are waiting after All-Star and we still have work to do, but I think we have a group that is ready for this challenge and we look forward to meeting it when we come back afterwards. "
Rondo remained faithful to his confidence in his team.
"I'm not worried at all," he said.
And James's last line with 28 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds to mark the 78th triple-double of his career, linking him with Wilt Chamberlain has been forgotten for the fifth time of all time.
"At the end of the day, we lost the match," said James. "I do not care what I've done individually.I do not mind not winning ball games.That's why I am, so I can throw this game to the trash can."