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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Robert Marvi

Darvin Ham laments Lakers’ lack of energy and aggression vs. Rockets

Even without Anthony Davis, LeBron James and Mo Bamba, the Los Angeles Lakers were expected by plenty of fans and observers to win on Wednesday against the Houston Rockets.

But the Rockets simply outworked and outhustled the Lakers, which accentuated their lack of size and resulted in a 114-110 loss.

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Los Angeles was its own worst enemy. It was outscored 78-46 in the paint while getting outrebounded by double digits. That put a lot of pressure on it to be very efficient offensively. Instead, it shot 37.8% overall and 25% from 3-point range.

Head coach Darvin Ham said after the game he was disappointed at his team’s lack of energy and aggression against the team with the worst record in the Western Conference.

“I said it before games, after games, non-game days — energy, effort and urgency, and I thought coming out of the gates, that was non-existent. I didn’t see a lot of that, but I saw it on their part (the Rockets). … Regardless of what their record is, they came to play. We felt them. They made us feel them in terms of them attacking the paint, then getting hits, them getting offensive rebounds, getting themselves extra possessions. We should’ve been the ones playing with that type of edge.”

The Rockets aren’t an especially large team either, but they dictated the terms of play on Wednesday, and Los Angeles found itself on its heels for just about the entire game.

Ham also pointed out how his team’s shortcomings defensively and on the boards hurt it on offense, as he reiterated one of its core values — defending and rebounding consistently well so it can play a fast-breaking style and get transition buckets in bunches.

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