Lakers’ Anthony Davis takes blame for buzzer-beating loss to Mavs

LOS ANGELES — Over and over once more, sitting in entrance of his locker after the sport, Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis repeated how robust it was to abdomen Friday night time’s 111-110 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on the buzzer.

Tough as a result of his closeout wasn’t sufficient of a deterrent to cease Mavs ahead Maxi Kleber from getting off the game-winning 3 with 0.2 seconds left on the clock. Tough as a result of the shot from Kleber was preceded by Davis going 1-for-2 from the foul line with 6.7 seconds left, failing to provide L.A. a three-point cushion that might have at the least made Kleber’s shot drive extra time reasonably than win it outright.

Tough as a result of simply earlier than that with 7.2 seconds left, with the Lakers main by 4, Davis fouled Kleber on a 3-point try, and Kleber drained all three free throws to convey Dallas inside one.

“I already came in and told them the last play was my fault,” mentioned Davis, who has taken the blame for a loss twice within the Lakers’ previous 4 video games, with the opposite loss coming in Houston when he needed to sit out due to a lingering foot damage.

And robust, Davis mentioned, as a result of on an evening when 4 different groups surrounding L.A. within the standings — Golden State, Minnesota, New Orleans and Portland — all misplaced, the Lakers didn’t capitalize.

“It’s tough all the way across the board,” Davis mentioned after his 26 factors and 10 rebounds have been for naught.

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Instead, all of the momentum swung to the Mavs. Playing on the highway with out Luka Doncic and welcoming Kyrie Irving again to the lineup after a three-game absence due to proper foot soreness, the Mavs got here in and took it.

The win moved Dallas to No. 6 within the Western Conference at 36-35, and so they received the season sequence in opposition to L.A. 2-1.

The Lakers are No. 10 within the West at 34-37, two full video games behind Dallas with 11 video games to play, nevertheless it would possibly as nicely be three video games as a result of the Mavs now personal the tiebreaker.

As painful an evening because it was for Davis, it was simply as thrilling for Kleber, who almost price the Mavs a sport in San Antonio on Wednesday by throwing a full-court inbounds go out of bounds with 1.8 seconds remaining in regulation after which blowing an task to liberate Keldon Johnson for a lob to ship it to OT.

Kleber mentioned throughout an on-court interview after the sport that Irving — who scored 38 factors and had the help to Kleber on the final shot — informed him, “That’s redemption” for the close to debacle in San Antonio.

Wenyen Gabriel, who had 9 factors and 11 rebounds off the bench and was instrumental in serving to erase a 14-point Dallas lead to assist put L.A. in place to get the win, supplied equally uplifting help for Davis.

“I mean, AD is our leader,” Gabriel mentioned of Davis placing the blame on his shoulders. “He’s our best player right now, and that just shows that taking accountability as being the best player. That’s something that’s important for the continuity as a team and having trust in each other, and obviously we trust AD. That was just a moment. It’s obviously not just on AD, but him taking accountability for that is something that is important instead of pointing fingers in terms of chemistry going forward.”

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The Lakers host the Orlando Magic (28-42) on Sunday, the primary of 4 extra video games at house earlier than leaving L.A. for 4 highway video games.

Time is operating out for this Lakers workforce. The crowded West has saved them in it, however Friday dropped at thoughts different close to misses, resembling when Davis missed late free throws in an extra time loss in Philadelphia or when he missed one other free throw within the last minute and Indiana received on the buzzer with a 3 from almost the very same spot on the ground that Kleber launched his.

The Lakers have been digging themselves out of a gap ever since their 2-10 begin out of the gates. Just when it regarded like they’d some respiratory room, profitable six out of eight after the All-Star break, they’ve now misplaced three out of 4 and are slipping backward on the worst time doable.

“We’re missing our opportunities, for sure. It’s frustrating,” Davis mentioned.

But he added: “We’re still in a position to do something special, with the way we started.”