The Los Angeles Lakers ended March the way most of the month went, with a loss and an injury to a key contributor in the process. After less than 14 minutes of action in a Laker uniform, Andre Drummond left Wednesday night’s loss against the Milwaukee Bucks, 112-97.
Drummond appeared to have his big toe and big toe wrapped in bandages. He went into the locker room early in the second half, which felt like a brutal blow to a Lakers team that had already relinquished an early lead. The Lakers started Wednesday night by making eight of their first 12 3-pointers but they were just two for 24 the rest of the way.
On the other side of things, the Bucks 3-point shooters shot a red-hot 53% from the 3-point line while Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez brutalized the Lakers at the rim.
Marc Gasol, who did not play until the fourth quarter, helped the Lakers on both ends when he did play but his boost was not enough to help tip the scales for a victory.
The Lakers did themselves a great favor by taking care of business over the weekend against Orlando and Cleveland, because Wednesday night’s loss was a reality check for what L.A. is about to face in the next two weeks.
Starting Friday night in Sacramento, they will begin a two-week stretch as the visiting team. They have one game on Sunday back at Staples Center as the “visitor” against the Clippers before they head out on a five-game Eastern Conference trip that will keep them on the road until April 13.
Sacramento is vying for a spot in the play-in tournament in the Western Conference, the Clippers are still trying to improve their seed and the only Eastern Conference team they’ll face that are currently outside of the playoff picture the Raptors.
It would be a shock to nobody if the Lakers went 0-7 during these next two weeks. They nearly won in Sacramento without LeBron James before the All-Star break, which means that’s likely their best chance to pick up a W.
Nevertheless, tonight’s game was an indication of how these next few weeks will likely go. Even after the Lakers got off to an ideal start by playing great defense, moving the ball and hitting their shots, it was in sustaining that level of play where they couldn’t keep up with Milwaukee.
That will be their challenge during their upcoming road trip and they’ve shown little in their brief time without James and Davis to suggest their trip will be any different than tonight.