“Her strength. Her courage,” Scott said before the Lakers hosted the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday at Staples Center. “My mom was terrific. I don’t want to talk about it anymore because you’re going to get me (emotional). So let’s just leave it at that.”Scott then politely ended his pre-game session with reporters before walking into the coach’s office. Shortly beforehand, Scott recalled his mother feeling “pretty happy” after the Lakers hired him as head coach last summer.“She was telling me for years that it would happen,” said Scott, who played 11 of his 14 NBA seasons with the Showtime Lakers, winning three championships. “So she was a big basketball fan. She was really excited.”A helping handSteve Nash may not have played in a basketball game for six months. But he has still kept a basketball in his hands, mentoring Lakers rookie guard Jordan Clarkson in a handful of workouts in the past two months. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error His eyes soon filled with tears as he spoke in a stoic tone.Lakers coach Byron Scott will miss two games this week to attend the funeral for his mother, Dorothy, who died last week at age 72. Scott will remain in Southern California when the Lakers visit Oklahoma City (Tuesday) and Minnesota (Wednesday).Lakers assistant Paul Pressey will coach the team before Scott returns Thursday in time to coach games in Toronto (Friday), Brooklyn (Sunday) and Philadelphia (Monday).Scott sounded emotional when reflecting on what he admired about his mother. “It’s meant a lot for him to reach out, open his arms and work with me,” Clarkson said. “It’s been great for my development and my process. So I really thank him for that.”Even with Nash officially announcing his retirement Saturday, Clarkson said he and Nash plan to work out again shortly after the Lakers return from their eight-day trip next week.Scott noted that Nash has mostly helped Clarkson’s passing and pace of play, though those two areas still remain a work in progress.“Steve wasn’t the quickest or fastest guy in the league. But he could always get around you because he has such a quick change of pace,” Scott said. “One of Jordan’s biggest problems is that he goes 100 miles per hour at times. He’s learning to temper it down.”Injury updateNick Young (left knee), Julius Randle (right leg) and Ronnie Price (right elbow) will travel with the Lakers for their five-game trip this week while rehabbing various injuries.Young began upper-body weight-training exercises over the past week, but it currently remains unclear when he can advance his rehab to on-court drills. Young has missed the past 12 games, while Randle and Price are out for the season.
Said Huertas: “I have no worries about it. They’re happy with me and they like me as a player and to tutor the young guys.”After playing the past 11 years in Spain, the 32-year-old Brazilian native is playing his rookie season of the NBA, where he has averaged only 3.1 points on 43.4-percent shooting and 2.8 assists in 12.6 minutes. Yet, Scott argued Huertas’ lack of playing time has more to do with the Lakers’ loaded backcourt of D’Angelo Russell, Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson.Though World Peace has not played the past 14 games because of a coach’s decision, Scott still gushed about World Peace’s mentorship role. Scott said he “talked briefly” with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak on whether they will keep World Peace ($1.5 million), Black ($845,059) and Huertas ($525,093), all of whom have contracts that will become guaranteed after next Sunday. The Lakers will decide by Friday so the players have time to clear waivers. The throng of season-ticket holders filled up some of the seats at Staples Center at morning shootaround eager to see the Lakers’ main attraction. More fans sat down later that evening for the same thing.But Kobe Bryant wasn’t there.Bryant missed Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center because of continued soreness in his right shoulder. Bryant had also missed Friday’s game against Philadelphia and against Oklahoma City two weeks ago because of the same injury. He had surgery on that same shoulder last January to repair a torn rotator cuff.“That’s wear and tear and 20 years of life in the NBA,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “I don’t know how much. But that’s probably something he’ll have to manage for the rest of the season.” Scott reported Bryant feeling better after missing Friday’s game against Philadelphia. But Bryant had treatment about 75 minutes before tipoff. Bryant had reported feeling more soreness in his right shoulder in Boston last Wednesday after shooting 5 of 18 from the field. But he pledged to play through his final game in Boston and made a key 3-pointers that gave the Lakers a 107-102 lead with 1:40 remaining. Bryant also grabbed 11 rebounds.“We were talking and he said it was hurting, but it wasn’t that bad,” Scott recalled Bryant saying in Boston. “He said, ‘Coach, I can do other things.’ I said, ‘I know.’ Then he hits two big shots. I don’t know. He finds a way when the game is on the line to get some things done. I hope it’s not to that extent when he was hurting.”UncertaintyA looming decision awaits the NBA future of Metta World Peace, Tarik Black and Marcelo Huertas. But Huertas and World Peace both downplayed uncertainty on whether the Lakers will retain them after this week to make their contracts guaranteed.Said World Peace: “I haven’t even thought about it. It’s not a concern.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe Lakers players and coaches understand how the narrative is turning against them, which has made the collapses all the more frustrating.“We give in a little bit as a team and we start to, our body language gets off a little bit,” Walton said. “What we have to understand is as a group we’re going to win and we’re going to lose and we have to stay together no matter what.”The signs of what Walton called “splintering” were apparent at critical moments on Friday against the Clippers. After Lou Williams hit a running half-court jumper at the halftime buzzer over Josh Hart, Tyson Chandler came over and appeared to be upset with the young guard over the coverage. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope similarly seemed to have words for Ivica Zubac after a Tyrone Wallace shot that forced the Lakers to call a timeout.Even as the Lakers talked about the need to stay together, to navigate the upcoming stretch without James as a group, the locker room reeked of disappointment.“Guys were getting frustrated,” Ball said. “Anytime a team goes on a 22-0 run, it’s not going to be all fine and dandy. We got to regroup. We can’t argue with each other. We’re on the same team.” Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions LOS ANGELES – The last two games for the Lakers have seen Lonzo Ball make spectacular passes, including perhaps his best of the year in a behind-the-back dish for a dunk against the Clippers. In them, Kyle Kuzma has scored a combined 58 points. Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart have each hit tough shots in key moments as the focus of defensive attention rather than the release valve for a star.The one thing the Lakers (20-16) haven’t been able to do without LeBron James, however, is the only thing that matters: They haven’t been able to close.It hasn’t just been garden-variety collapses for the Lakers — their losses to the Kings and the Clippers, have been respectively epic in different ways. The Thursday night defeat in Sacramento saw them cough up a 15-point lead with less than seven minutes left, falling behind only at the final buzzer as Bogdan Bogdanovic sunk them with a fadeaway 3-pointer. The Friday night disappoint was driven by a 22-0 run authored by the Clippers, the most lopsided unanswered scoring stretch of the season.The frustrating thing for Luke Walton is for all the promise he sees in the young talent he’s helped groom for the last three seasons, there’s, at the very least, devastating stretches for a young group lacking firm veteran leadership. For those most critical of whether the younger Lakers can build a convincing cast for a championship contender, the team is missing an opportunity to prove them wrong.Related Articles The two defining runs of the two games together, in which the Lakers were outscored by a combined 38 points in just over 11 minutes of game time, saw remarkable breakdowns defensively, but in different ways.Against the Kings, the Lakers gave up three 3-pointers in the last six minutes, including the game winner that allowed Bogdanovic to take advantage of a switch onto Chandler. They also failed to cover Iman Shumpert, who was hot from deep on the night. The Clippers, on the other hand, scored all of their baskets in the paint during a 7 for 12 run from the field: A high pick-and-roll with Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams drew Chandler and Zubac to the perimeter, opening up the rim for attacksThe commonalities fell more in their own offensive execution: The Lakers were a combined 4 for 17 during those stretches, including 10 turnovers. It was clear that James, who led the NBA in clutch situation scoring last year, would’ve been a helpful focal point for an otherwise off-course attack.While James was on the sideline lending his voice, along with Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee who were also out, the Lakers missed the veteran talent. With James expected to miss Sunday’s home game against the Kings, it seems likely the Lakers will miss him even more before he can recover from his strained groin.There were other mitigating factors the Lakers pointed to in Friday’s loss: the fact that the team was playing the second game of a back-to-back, and perhaps it was tough to shake off the previous night’s loss. With three more upcoming games in the homestand, the Lakers hope that maybe some of the other negative intagibles will burn off.“That’s growth that I know we’ll have, because when you’re on a back-to-back, when guys are a little tired — which I know we were tonight — that’s when you key in on the little things,” Chandler said. “And they just did the little things better than us. They got more experience than we got out there, and they took advantage of it. But I totally believe that we’ll grow, and we’ll continue to grow. This is healthy for us. We’ll get past all this.”If they don’t soon, the path ahead gets a lot less sunny for the Lakers. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers