The 111-106 loss officially eliminated the Lakers from the playoff race with 10 games remaining on their schedule. Following the game, LeBron James expressed his frustrations on missing the postseason and admitted "it's not what we signed up for" this season.
"Obviously, it's been a tough season for all of us," James said. "It's not what we signed up for. Throughout the year, things happened. Suspensions, injuries, things of that nature. And just not being able to play sustainable basketball for 48 minutes. But you don't even try to wrap your head around it, you just keep pushing. Just try to get better tonight, move on to tomorrow, and go from there. Playoffs are never promised. You've got to come out and work. For me personally, you just continue to put the work in and see what you can do to help."
It was certainly a forgettable campaign for the Lakers after having so much promise entering the year. The Lakers, back in action on Sunday against the Kings (9:30 p.m. ET -- watch on fuboTV with the NBA League Pass extension), made a splash in the offseason when they signed James a massive four-year, $154M contract and dominoes began to fall right after. The organization also signed a peculiar host of veterans, including Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson.
Injuries played a large role in the floundering of the team as several players were out of the lineup for significant stretches throughout the season. James, himself, ended up missing 17 consecutive games with a groin strain. In addition, Rajon Rondo missed two separate stretches with multiple hand injuries and was out of the lineup for 31 total games with those injuries, while Lonzo Ball missed a large portion of the season as well due to various injuries.
The Lakers also saw Brandon Ingram his season prematurely ended due to a blood clot in his arm. In addition, Ball suffered an ankle sprain that will hold him out for the remainder of the season.
So where do LeBron and the Lakers go from here? It's hard to predict who they'll be able to add in free agency, but one has to believe their chances at success next season can only improve.