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Inside the most lopsided loss of LeBron James' career: 'A lot' needs to change

Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Basketball

PHILADELPHIA — LeBron James sat on the end of the Lakers' bench in Philadelphia, a city he hasn't won a game in since 2017 and watched the numbers on the scoreboard turn.

On a night where he surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most combined minutes played in the NBA's regular season and playoffs, the 21-year veteran experienced a new low.

Never had his team ever lost this badly — the 76ers beating the Lakers 138-94 — a 44-point margin of defeat to establish a career worst.

"What needs to change in order for that not to happen again?" he said, repeating a reporter's question. "Um, a lot."

Asked for specifics, James declined to provide any.

"A lot," he repeated.

 

Following a good win Saturday in Cleveland, the Lakers seemed unraveled after getting blown out in Philadelphia, with James being uncharacteristically brief and Anthony Davis predicting an intense film session Tuesday.

"There's an opportunity for us to talk about it. And look at it. This is what we can't have," Davis said. "But you have to quickly flush it because we have another one on Wednesday, right? We can't harp on it too long. It's good to watch the film and see what we can get better at on both ends. But then you have to get ready for a game Wednesday and Thursday. So, you know, we've got to look at it, embrace it, own it. Guys don't take it personal for whatever's said in the film and then move on from it."

But that can be easier said than done. Early last season, players struggled with that kind of accountability. Monday was the Lakers' worst loss this season and the footage from it could challenge this team when it comes to addressing root problems.

"I know that in the course of the game, we've challenged each other. If someone's not playing well or someone is, what's the word, BS'ing I guess, we've been calling people out," Davis said. "... And I don't think no one took it personal. But obviously in the course of the game, you've got to forget about it and just go play.

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