After enduring a difficult twelve months, the Los Angeles Lakers had actually been a place of positivity over the past week. Until Monday night that is.
Coming off the back of a three game win streak, and just 24 hours after the Kobe Bryant love in induced by the franchise star's impressive scoring achievement secured against the Timberwolves, it hasn't taken long for the Lakers to crash back down to Earth.
Facing a struggling Indiana Pacers team on Monday evening many had hoped the Lakers could make it four wins on the bounce. Instead the famous franchise endeavoured to produce an historically poor performance over the first half.
In trailing the Pacers 27-62 after two periods it was the Lakers' worst first half deficit since arriving in the city of Los Angeles way back in 1960.
And the team's stats during the opening 24 minutes didn't make for pretty reading either.
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Too little too late
The Lakers did rally in the second half, outscoring the Pacers 64-50, but it was too little too late for Byron Scott's misfiring roster with Indiana eventually running out 110-91 winners.
After passing Michael Jordan to move into third spot in the NBA's all-time scoring list on Sunday night, Kobe Bryant added another 21 points to his career total. But in making just 8 of 26 shots the Lakers legend was one of the key culprits in the team's poor overall display.
Searching for answers
Bryant had few answers for the poor display other than to cite a failure to prepare:
"They jumped out to a quick lead on us and we just compounded it that we couldn't throw the ball in the ocean sitting on a boat.
"Sometimes you just have to pat yourself on the back for an atrocious job. We didn't have our legs at the start of the ball game. We just could not get ourselves activated."
Speaking after the defeat head coach Byron Scott analysed the early game issues, and found his players to be lacking in several areas:
"I didn't think we came ready, mentally or physically. I thought they were a desperate team," he explained.
"They came out and jumped on us and we didn't react real well to it. The second half, obviously, we came out with more energy. We felt that we were embarrassed the way we played the first half. They were just kicking our butts."
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