Ham shoulders blame for Lakers' collapse vs. Pacers: 'That falls on me'
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham took responsibility for his side blowing a late 17-point lead in Monday's loss to the Indiana Pacers.
"That falls on me," Ham said regarding the Lakers' offensive struggles in the final frame, courtesy of ESPN's Dave McMenamin. "I'll take responsibility for that."
Los Angeles led for the entire second half before Andrew Nembhard hit a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. L.A. had stretched its advantage to a game-high 17 points with nine minutes remaining in regulation. However, Ham's squad shot just 26% (5-of-19) from that point on as the Pacers slowly chipped away at the deficit before Tyrese Haliburton set up Nembhard.
Lakers star Anthony Davis, who finished with 25 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists, said he and his teammates also deserve their share of the blame for the loss.
"It's not just on (Ham). It's on us, too," Davis said. "I mean, we got enough years in the league for the guys that were on the floor late game to execute.
"Obviously, he's a coach, you take the blame. But it's on us players to go out there and execute. We know what we're doing. We're talented enough and smart enough on the floor to win a basketball game like that. ... So, it's not on him."
The Lakers' loss to Indiana sours what was an encouraging stretch after a disappointing start to the campaign. Entering Tuesday's game, L.A. had gone 5-1 in its last six games, with three of those wins coming without LeBron James. Ham's side is now 7-12, two games back of a play-in spot and 3.5 games behind the top six.