Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In the 115-110 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, the undermanned Los Angeles Lakers battled, but could not overcome their poor shooting and defense.

As the Lakers focused in on D’Angelo Russell, his 22 points and 13 assists led six Nets players in double-figures. However, out of those players, Jared Dudley had 10 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter — including four layups and a timely 3-pointer when the Lakers were making a final push.

After their second consecutive loss to end the four-game road trip, head coach Luke Walton was particularly disappointed with the team’s defense on Dudley, via Spectrum SportsNet:

“Dudley had 10 points in the fourth quarter and three of them were blow-by layups. All respect to Dudley. He’s been a very good player for years, but he shouldn’t be blowing by anyone at this stage of his career.”

That drew a response from Dudley, who explained how he set up the Lakers:

While the Lakers are 18-13 and fourth in the Western Conference, it was clear their depth was tested during the road trip.

Along with Brandon Ingram (ankle) and Rajon Rondo (hand) already out, the Lakers lost JaVale McGee (flu-like symptoms) for the final two games. As a result, Walton had to play Svi Mykhailiuk and Moritz Wagner, who tried their best under the circumstances.

As the Lakers return home, they could very well have all three players back against the New Orleans Pelicans. In the extremely competitive Western Conference, it could not have come at a better time as LeBron James understands the importance of winning now.

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