The finish of Friday night time’s recreation between the Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Hornets in all probability is not what Dr. James Naismith envisioned when he invented the trendy recreation of basketball. The ultimate minute of the Lakers’ 134-130 loss was marked by goaltending calls, turnovers and one unbelievable second involving LeBron James.
With six seconds remaining within the recreation, the Lakers had possession down by two factors, with an opportunity to tie or take the lead. James took the sideline inbounds move from Patrick Beverley and rapidly began his transfer towards the basket. The downside? Only one in every of his sneakers determined to come back with him.
As he tried to plant on his socked foot, he slid throughout the Lakers emblem on the Crypto.com Arena flooring and fell to the hardwood. Credit to James for having the attention to seek out Dennis Schroder within the nook earlier than being known as for a touring violation or dropping the ball out of bounds. Schroder truly ended up with a wide-open look, however the shot did not fall and the Lakers got here away with the identical “L” that LeBron slipped on.
This was the craziest a part of an extremely complicated and sloppy end to the sport. In a tie recreation with 42 seconds left, LaMelo Ball made a horrible bounce move that landed immediately within the arms of Lakers guard Austin Reaves, who swiftly dribbled down the ground on a quick break. Reaves threw a move that seemed to be directed towards Beverley, however each Beverley and the trailing Russell Westbrook each acquired a hand on the ball because it ricocheted out of bounds.
Then, what turned out to be the game-winning basket by Hornets ahead Gordon Hayward did not even undergo the ring. Hayward gathered the offensive rebound after a missed 3-pointer by Terry Rozier, and rapidly put the ball again up off the glass, but it surely rolled off the rim. A replay overview confirmed that James touched the ball after Hayward’s shot hit the backboard, subsequently it was dominated a goaltend and two factors for Charlotte.
This was a wild technique to lose a really winnable recreation for the Lakers, particularly after erasing a 16-point second-half deficit. With Anthony Davis out for no less than one other week or so, the Lakers completely must win video games in opposition to the bottom-feeders of the league (Charlotte entered the sport with eight wins) if they’ll have any shot at stepping into the Western Conference playoff image.
James scored 18 of his 34 factors within the fourth quarter, additionally ending with eight assists, whereas Reaves added 20 factors off the bench. The Lakers will look to proper the ship on Christmas Day in a troublesome highway matchup in opposition to Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.
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