The LeBron James era in Los Angeles hit a new low Sunday as the Lakers lost to the worst team in the NBA, the New York Knicks.
But it wasn’t just that they lost to the lowly Knicks — it was how they lost.
The Lakers were cruising along, building an 11 point lead with less than four minutes left in the game. But then the wheels came off.
The Knicks closed on a 13-1 run as the Lakers went 0 for 6 in the final three-plus minutes. James went 0 for 4 during that stretch, including his final, potential game-winning attempt.
Mario Hezonja BLOCKS LeBron to clinch the Knicks’ win over LA pic.twitter.com/OdeL77SFJV
— The Crossover (@TheCrossover) March 17, 2019
James isolated Knicks forward Mario Hezonja and took him to the hoop in the final seconds, only to have the Knicks forward block his shot to end the game. The Knicks won 124-123, snapping an 8-game losing streak.
It capped James’ worst fourth quarter of his career, according to ESPN Stats and Information.
The Knicks snap their 8-game losing streak and sweep their season series vs the Lakers, using a 13-1 run over the final 3:45 to win by a single point.
The Lakers are now 31-39 through 70 games for a second consecutive season. pic.twitter.com/uBbBC7fgDx
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 17, 2019
“It bothers me in the fact we didn’t close the game out, and being the competitor that I am, it bothers me that I didn’t make enough plays down the stretch; it bothers me that I didn’t even get a shot up at the hoop,” James said after the game, reported ESPN.
The Lakers fell to 31-39, which is the exact same record they had at this time last year — minus James. The Knicks are a woeful 14-56, the worst in the NBA by a pretty wide margin.
However, they did sweep the season series with the Lakers, the only team they swept this year.
“Of course that stuff bothers me, but I mean what’s the difference between their record and our record? Two teams out of the postseason. So there’s no difference. We have a couple more wins than them, but both teams right now are on the outside looking in, so it’s not much of a difference,” James added.
James did have 33 points, along with 6 rebounds and 8 assists, to lead the Lakers. He was 11 for 26 from the field and 0 for 6 from three-point range.
The block aside, Hezonja said James’ fourth quarter struggles had nothing to do with his defense.
“He just missed shots. Don’t get that twisted,” Hezonja said, reported ESPN. “He just missed shots. If you are saying you are the reason he’s missing shots, you are an idiot. Pretty simple.”
These 2 photos of Mario Hezonja pointing at LeBron are amazing.
📷 Sarah Stier (Getty)
📷 Seth Wenig (AP) pic.twitter.com/IHR3CK8j5T
— David Astramskas (@redapples) March 18, 2019
The Lakers have lost 3 straight and the road gets much tougher as they travel to play the league’s best team — record-wise at least — the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.
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