BuzzerBeating’s loss to Mavericks ‘knocked all of us away’

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

In a season that has been filled with them, the Los Angeles Lakers took another blow to the gut Friday night when they lost to the Dallas Mavericks on a buzzer-beater 3-pointer.

After going down by nine, the Lakers fought all the way into the fourth quarter and seemed to take control. However, Anthony Davis had some costly plays late on, first fouling Kleber on a 3 while up four, then missing a free kick of his own, and finally missing Kleber in the dying seconds, allowing him to see the buzzer.

Wenyen Gabriel, who played one of his best games of the season with nine points and 11 rebounds in 23 minutes, pretty much summed up how the Lakers felt after the loss.

“It was the last shot of the game. It was devastating, for sure,” Gabriel said. “It took our breath away. We’re still trying to deal with it right now. But honestly, we just have to make this playoff push, like Coach always says, we just have to get back to work, fill our cups and go recharge.”

Gabriel has been through a lot in his short time with the team, suffering a series of blowout losses with the Lakers unable to overcome the obstacle and get back into championship contention.

While Gabriel still believes the Lakers are currently in the best place they’ve ever been, he also discussed how they can best close out these tight games.

“That’s part of it. Like you said, even since I’ve been here last year, there’s been a lot of ups and downs. But I would say where we are now is probably the best place we’ve been since I got here last year in terms of spirit and we have a really talented team. We have a very good opportunity to do what we’re trying to do. But we also made the trades late at the deadline, so we also have to find that continuity with our half-court offense. When we make a couple of stops and go out at the break, everything is great. The ball flies, we get great shots. But sometimes the game comes down to the last few minutes where we have to execute in the half court. That’s where we’ve been struggling a bit lately.

“That’s something we say comes with the chemistry as well, but we really have to look at the movie and get better if we really want to make a career out of it because we’re going to be in this kind of situation a lot. There will be close games at the end of the games, that’s how you win games, whether it’s the end of the season, the playoffs or wherever we are. This is how people will protect you, they will look at you with difference. and we’re going to have to make adjustments. Let’s get better with this. It hurts, definitely. You’re going to have losses like this, so we just have to build.”

Davis describes Kleber’s game-winning point of view

As stated above, even though he had a strong game, Davis played a key role in the Lakers not being able to shut him down.

He outlined his point of view for several of those late-game plays, specifically Kleber’s game-winner.

“There were seven seconds and he dribbled almost the entire clock. we were just reading [Kyrie] knowing that he was probably going to take the last shot. He got into the shooting motion and just went down, he didn’t shoot. So when he came up I was drawn to it, I was looking for the rebound thinking he was shooting it. And he made the pass to Kleber, who made the shot.”

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