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Turnovers key to Lakers' late-game collapse against Thunder

After committing only one turnover in the first three quarters against Oklahoma City, they commit nine in the fourth and lose, 120-106.

April 12, 2011|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Lakers guard Kobe Bryant loses control of the ball as he's defended by Thunder guards Thabo Sefolosha and Russell Westbrook late in the game Sunday night at Staples Center.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant loses control of the ball as he's defended… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

The Lakers finally won something!

They had fewer turnovers than Oklahoma City, 10 compared to the Thunder's 13, though that didn't come close to telling any story of their egregiously careless fourth quarter.

The Lakers had been stumbling shells of themselves coming into Sunday's game, averaging 18.3 turnovers in their previous four losses.

Somehow they committed only one through three quarters against the Thunder, but they caught up quickly with an astounding nine in the final 12 minutes.

Yep, nine.

"I just don't know why we started forcing things," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said.

Of course they lost, 120-106.

In the final three minutes, Kobe Bryant had a bad pass for a turnover, stepped out of bounds with the ball and lost the ball another time.

Bryant didn't have much to say about it.

"It was good defense," he said.

Jackson had more to say before the game, with the Lakers coming off 20 turnovers against Denver, 19 against Utah, 17 against Golden State and 17 against Portland.

"Turnovers are the signs. They're not the reason. The reason is lack of urgency," Jackson said. "Because it's a lack of urgency, there's not a whole lot of crispness and execution in what we're doing."

Brown struggling

Of all the "Killer Bs," Shannon Brown has seen the biggest drop-off over the course of the season.

He continued to falter Sunday, scoring two points on one-for four shooting and adding to a lethargic April.

His stat lines have flat-lined: Seven points on three-for-10 shooting against Portland, five points on one-for-six shooting against Golden State, four points on two-for-six shooting against Utah and four points on two-for-five shooting against Denver.

"Shannon's not been playing very well," Jackson said. "People are making him shoot a little bit farther out, they're making him rush his shot a little bit more. Those are some of the things that are curtailing his offense and his reputation has gotten around. So now he's got to be able to make the adjustments."

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan

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