From Brian Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: By the end of the third — again, the point at which the game was too far gone — the Warriors had 17 offensive rebounds on 44 misses, a very healthy 38.6 percent, well more than their 26.5 percent average. Sure, the Lakers tightened up in the fourth quarter — only one ORB surrendered — but by then they’d basically laid out a Vegas style buffet of second-chance points. Golden State finished with 17, in total, but was the case with L.A.’s turnovers, by constantly failing to secure the glass, the Lakers were unable to control the tempo of the game. Combined, the Lakers also gave Golden State an enormous advantage. L.A. actually shot a better percentage from the field (42.9 percent vs. 38.7 percent) but the Warriors had 16 more field goal attempts. You just can’t win that way (as Wednesday night’s game demonstrates). Of course, the Lakers still could have managed to squeak out a win had they not made a habit out of. …
From Dexter Fishmore, Silver Screen and Roll: I guess we’re going to do this again after all. By “this,” I mean a sludgy, turd-scented end to the regular season, whereby the Lakers hack up winnable games left and right and stumble around groggily like your mom after her third breakfast scotch. The champs had us fooled for a while with their 17-1 record after the All-Star break, but now the jig is up. Losing to Denver on Sunday afternoon? Eh, whatever… they were due for a letdown game. Falling two nights later to a Jazz team that had lost eight straight? Hmm. This is starting to seem familiar. And now a third consecutive loss, 87 to 95 to the Warriors tonight up in Oakland? Ah yes. These are the April Lakers we know and love. Someone remember to wake them when the playoff brackets are announced.
From Kevin Ding, OC Register: Rather than steamroll into the playoffs, the Lakers are providing a flashback to earlier days this season when they shrugged when confronted with more motivated opponents and got tagged with unsightly losses. The Lakers stuck with the careless, casual approach that lost them consecutive games to Denver and Utah after their 17-1 run after the All-Star break, so they lost again, 95-87, to the Golden State Warriors here Wednesday night. In so doing, the Lakers surrendered their chase for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and home-court advantage in a possible series with the San Antonio Spurs. The Lakers have been mathematically eliminated from that possibility before even getting to the Tuesday night game at Staples Center against the Spurs. The Lakers’ slide hasn’t allowed Dallas to move up from two games behind given the Mavericks’ own struggles. Their loss to Denver on Wednesday night left the Mavericks just a game ahead of fourth-place Oklahoma City, which owns the tiebreaker over Dallas. If the Lakers stay at No. 2, they would be slotted for a second-round matchup with the team that finishes No. 3.
From Kevin Ding, OC Register: The approach of Lakers coach Phil Jackson’s is not to sweat the standings much until entering the last week of the regular season. So his plan is to take stock of things Sunday before the Lakers play host to Oklahoma City — and then have their final games vs. San Antonio and at Sacramento — to decide whether the team should push hard for a certain spot or home-court advantage or take it slightly easier before the playoffs. “On Sunday, start sorting it out,” Jackson said, “whether we stay after it, intense.” Jackson said while the Lakers were winning almost every game and eating up ground behind San Antonio he wouldn’t worry much about it until the Lakers took this current trip to Golden State and Portland.
From Mark Medina, LA Times: Walking nearly side by side, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Coach Phil Jackson walked out of a tunnel at Oracle Arena and conversed. There’s no use trying to lipread what was on the television screen, but the Lakers’ 95-87 loss Wednesday to the Golden State Warriors provides plenty of conversation starters. The most tempting of course points to the standings implications. The Lakers (55-23) can rule out catching San Antonio (60-19) for the top spot for the Western Conference; the Lakers in the midst of a three-game losing streak and San Antonio having won three consecutive games to lock up the top seeding. The Lakers also shouldn’t be surprised if they can’t match up with the Chicago Bulls (57-20), winners of four consecutive games, or stay ahead of Boston (54-23).
From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: Stu Lantz is staying. The longtime color commentator for televised Lakers games is expected to return for a 25th season, multiple NBA and entertainment officials said Wednesday. Lantz’s broadcast partner since 2005, Joel Meyers, will not be back after this season. Meyers will be done after the first round of the playoffs. Neither FS West nor KCAL has broadcast rights past that point. Spero Dedes, 32, will be the third TV voice of the Lakers since Chick Hearn died in August 2002. Paul Sunderland had the job for three seasons, followed by Meyers. Dedes is in his sixth season as the Lakers’ radio play-by-play broadcaster. Dedes has not officially signed a new contract with the Lakers to do TV, though it is not expected to be an arduous process. Who will succeed Dedes on radio? The Lakers might not have to look further than longtime local sports presence Bill Macdonald.