The Los Angeles Lakers knew they needed to be near-perfect to close the season out.
They could either become a top-5 seed or fall right back into the play-in tournament, so there was virtually no margin for error in Southern California.
Notably, they lived up to that responsibility by winning four straight games on the road since March 29.
They visited the Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, Houston Rockets, and Utah Jazz before heading back home for a matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Unfortunately, all that traveling eventually caught up with them, and they looked exhausted down the stretch versus Tyronn Lue’s team.
That’s why LeBron James claimed that the loss was due to a “scheduling conflict” and that the Clippers got the best of them in that matchup.
LeBron believes back-to-back games on the road in Utah and L.A. contributed to the Lakers' loss against the Clippers. pic.twitter.com/50wVV4lumt
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 6, 2023
Of course, all that traveling this deep into the season can take a toll on your body, but the Clippers have now taken 11 straight games from the Lakers, so the fans weren’t buying that narrative.
5 game road trip with the last 2 being back to back. Yeah them boys was visibly GASSED last night especially Bron
— 👶🏽🐐LaZr$ babyGOAT (@LiLBilly___) April 6, 2023
they had one of the shortest flights on the schedule.
— Slim (@Slim_978) April 6, 2023
They lost 11 in a row to the clippers. FOH and im a lakers fan
— Your Grace 🤴🏾 (@djhomicide) April 6, 2023
— originalman80.eth (@Apex_Intellect) April 6, 2023
The @NBA needs to cut the games. Fans want to see the stars play at a high level and back to backs are not appealing to fans. It leads to coaches benching players and players not playing their best. Cut the games please and save the players
— Erick Drobinski (@erick_dro) April 6, 2023
I love how they give excuses every single time instead of just saying they didn’t play up to the competition, honestly pathetic.
— BingBong (@backroomknick) April 6, 2023
but don't they also play in LA…
— Jonathon (@jwired21) April 6, 2023
It just seems like the Clippers have the Lakers’ number.
Regardless of whether it’s on the first or last week of the season, they can’t seem to beat them anymore.
Now, they’ll need to close out the season with home games against the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz, looking to avoid the play-in with back-to-back wins.
Needless to say, that’ll be easier said than done, especially against a Suns team that’s undefeated when Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Chris Paul are all on the court.NEXT: Fans React To What Anthony Davis Said About Russell Westbrook