Crisis continues as Los Angeles Lakers stumble out of play-in position

The Los Angeles Lakers stumbled out of the play-in position after Tuesday night’s 128-110 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. It is the first time it has happened since the first week of the regular season,

The Lakers trailed by as many as 37 points as Luka Doncic recorded a 30-point triple-double through the first three quarters (34 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists). The Los Angeles Lakers played without LeBron James (left ankle sprain) and Anthony Davis (right mid-foot sprain),

Los Angeles Lakers lose again

L.A. is currently No. 11 in the Western Conference with seven games remaining. Their record is 31-44, the same as the No. 10 San Antonio Spurs, but the Spurs own the tiebreaker.

Looking ahead to the final stretch, the Lakers have gone 4-10 against their six remaining opponents (they play the Denver Nuggets twice). The Spurs have gone 5-11 against their six remaining opponents (they play the Portland Trail Blazers twice). The Nuggets (45-31) are No. 6 in the Western Conference standings. The Blazers (27-48) are No. 12 and will be out their star, Damian Lillard, for the rest of the season.

Tuesday was about as bad as it has been for the Lakers in a season already full of disappointment. The 82 points they allowed in the first half were the second-most points in the first half in franchise history, narrowly avoiding the record set when the Boston Celtics hung 83 on them in the first half on Feb. 27, 1959, according to data compiled by ESPN Stats & Info.

L.A.’s 26-point halftime deficit Tuesday combined with the 28 points the Pelicans outscored them by in the second half on Sunday represented the worst points differential, minus-54, over a two-half span for the Lakers in the shot-clock era.

The Lakers are now 4-13 since the All-Star break, which is on pace to be the franchise’s second-lowest win percentage post All-Star break in team history.

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