Lakers star Anthony Davis placed much of the blame on his shoulders for Los Angeles’s last-second loss to the Mavericks on Friday night.
Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber nailed a game-winning three-pointer for Dallas with 0.2 seconds remaining in regulation. While Davis handled his responsibility of closing out on Kleber, his defensive impact on the final possession was not enough to force a Kleber miss on the three-point attempt.
Before Kleber’s miraculous three pointer, Davis also had a chance to lift Los Angeles to victory or force the Mavericks (36–35) into overtime. Davis converted only one-of-two free throws a few possessions earlier and picked up a bad foul against Kleber on a three-pointer, resulting in three converted free throws for the Mavericks to cut the deficit to one point.
As the Lakers (34–37) fight to secure a playoff spot versus having to play in the NBA’s play-in tournament next month, Davis did not shy away from saying he needs to be better in these final games of the regular season.
“I already came in and told them the last play was my fault,” Davis said after the loss.
The Lakers were hot following the NBA All-Star break, posting a 6–2 mark in the first eight games back. However, Los Angeles has now dropped its last two games and is 5–5 in its last 10 games.
The Lakers are currently No. 10 in the Western Conference and technically sit three games behind the Mavericks for the No. 6 spot—as Dallas owns the tiebreaker against L.A.—in the conference, the final slot in the playoff field. Teams ranked Nos. 7–10 will face off in the play-in format.