Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 3/26/13
Coach Mike D'Antoni didn't go ballistic after this game, but the Lakers certainly imploded during a 109-103 loss Monday night at Oracle Arena. As teams try to build momentum and magnetism heading into the playoffs, the Lakers showed neither while losing a third consecutive game. Not that they seemed especially worried about that. "I'm terrified," Kobe Bryant said, sarcastically, of the suddenly sagging Lakers. "Do I look terrified? Not at all." The scoreboard was much friendlier than the actual discrepancy between the teams, the Lakers fully unable to stop the Warriors and again experiencing too many crises on offense with the exception of a late-game rally. "Our offense was anemic," D'Antoni said. To top it off, Metta World Peace sustained a strained left knee and did not return after halftime. He is listed as day to day. Oh, and Utah won easily over Philadelphia to cut the Lakers' lead to one game for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Also, the Lakers (36-35) fell 3 games behind Houston for seventh place and 4 behind Golden State for sixth. Good luck with either of those. The scene that burned in Monday's game happened late in the second quarter. Bryant started walking toward the locker room as the Lakers inbounded the ball under the Warriors' basket with 1.4 seconds left. He didn't see the result of Pau Gasol's failed attempt to beat the clock with a three-quarters-court heave. He didn't care. Can you blame him? The Lakers were awful in the possessions before Bryant's walk-off. David Lee cut into an open lane and tipped in Stephen Curry's miss with 1.9 seconds left. Then World Peace threw the ball way downcourt toward Gasol but the pass was too long for anybody. So no time elapsed and Golden State got the ball under its own basket. Andrew Bogut scored on a lob from Curry. Only the Lakers could give up four points on two plays 1.9 seconds apart. Bryant was in score mode all the way, discarding the facilitator stuff in a big way. He had 36 points on 11-for-27 shooting and only three assists. The bigger issue was the Warriors' scorers. Curry had 25 points, Lee had 23, Klay Thompson had 22 and reserve guard Jarrett Jack had 19. The Lakers' reserves, by the way, totaled 21 points on seven-for-26 shooting (27). Gasol was unimpressive in his second game back from a six-week layoff, totaling seven points on three-for-eight shooting. Dwight Howard finished with 11 points, 15 rebounds and three stitches in his lower lip after taking an elbow from Lee late in the second quarter. As has been the norm in Lakers losses this month, Howard was ignored down the stretch, making one of two fourth-quarter shots. This time, they had to get out of a 22-point deficit, with little choice but to hoist three-point shots. "I don't really want to even talk about it," Howard said. "I'll just let these guys figure out what we need to do to play. If you want to win games, you've got to play the right way." Bryant missed all six of his three-point attempts in the fourth quarter. Howard was also displeased with Lee's elbow. "He got away with a shot, so I'll remember this game and I'll remember that shot," Howard said. "He said later he wasn't trying to do it. You can look at the play and see it for yourself." Afterward, Bryant addressed D'Antoni's postgame rant for the first time since it happened after the Lakers melted down Friday night against Washington. "I don't think it's time to get emotional," Bryant said. "We've got to just maintain our poise."
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