By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
The New Orleans Pelicans forced the struggling Los Angeles Lakers to their ninth loss in the last 13 games of the 2021-22 NBA Regular Season. The Crypto.com Arena even booed the team in the second half of the NBA Sundays contest as the deficit grew to 32 points.
“I don’t want to speak for anyone else. But I think, with what is going on with the season, injuries and different things, even the crowd booing today. It is a lot for somebody who is not accustomed to it. It can take a toll,” explained Russell Westbrook during the postgame press conference, “I am going to stay positive and keep encouraging my teammates, keep building confidence in our locker room, regardless of what is going on.”
The team coached by Frank Vogel fell to 27-33, only 2.5 games away from not even making the Play-In Round. The Pels knotted with the Portland Trail Blazers at 25-36 following in the Western Conference standings.
“Right now, it’s how we can be better today or tomorrow,” mentioned LeBron James focusing on the immediate challenges instead of the Playoffs or Play-Ins. “We got a tough stretch with Dallas, Clippers again Thursday, then Golden State on Saturday. And we still got ten road games this month, or March, so it don’t get easier for us.”
“I feel like we get deflated when we don’t play well. I don’t think it is about not caring,” said Vogel, “This group wants to get some traction, put some wins on the board, and play better than what we are playing.”
James, 37, poured a game-high 32 turnovers but also committed seven turnovers versus the Pelicans. As usual, he is determined to improve moving deeper into the Regular Season.
“I am always trying to figure out ways to be better. Obviously, seven turnovers is not an ingredient for winning basketball for myself. I hold myself accountable for that,” he pointed out, “That’s just my mindset I always have throughout every year of my career. Ways I can be better, no matter if we are winning or losing. I always try to figure that part out.”
Westbrook, 33, had 16 points and seven more of the 23 team turnovers.
“Coming off the break, we have not been our sharpest and we understand that. Missed our make shots, that is part of the game. But playing hard, is something we can’t allow ourselves not to do,” he noted, “We have to figure how to get a win, the best way we know. Just try to play the right basketball.”
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