They proved that true for a second time this season and lost to the worst team in the West, 107-101, Tuesday night. D'Angelo Russell was simply too much for the Nets to handle, while Brook Lopez watched the end of the game from the bench after fouling out.
The Nets entered the Staples Center Monday winners of two straight, but followed it up with a late loss to the Clippers the night before the Lakers game.
It would've been the last time the Nets played Kobe Bryant, but he sat out. Still, the Nets, led by two former Philly area high school stars -- Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and assistant GM Frank Zanin -- provided Bryant with gifts, then did the same for the Lakers. Zanin played against Bryant in high school and remains friendly with him.
There were so many things wrong with this game for the Nets, but we'll start with D'Angelo Russell. The rookie hit EIGHT three-pointers and scored a game-high 39 points. He hit more three more three-pointers than the Nets.
Behind Russell's lead, the Lakers found a 12-point lead in the third quarter. The Nets on the other hand, relied heavily on the offensive production from Brook Lopez and Bojan Bogdanovic.
But the two couldn't do it alone.
The Nets cut the once 12-point deficit down to five with less than three minutes left in the game, but Brook Lopez fouled out after picking up two bad hacks in less than a minute.
The Nets went small and brought this thing down to one, but the Lakers answered with two three-pointers from D'Angelo Russell, his seventh and eighth three-pointers of the night. He scored 16 points in the fourth quarter and put the dagger into the Nets as Brook Lopez could only watch from the sideline.
"Tip your cap to him," Tony Brown said after the game.
Lopez finished with 23 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 33 minutes. He's scored 20+ points in 9 of his 12 career meetings with the Lakers, including 5 of 6 at Los Angeles.
The Nets dished out 28 assists to only seven turnovers, but nailed just five three-pointers compared to 11 three's for L.A. The Nets even outscored the Lakers 64-50 in the paint but it didn't pay off.
Thaddeus Young notched his 25th double double of the season with 19 points and 15 rebounds in 34 minutes. Bojan Bogdanovic chipped in 18 points and seven rebounds. He's averaged 17 points since taking Joe Johnson's spot in the rotation.
Aside from Russell, Julius Randle had a double double night of 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Jordan Clarkson chipped in 16.
Chris McCullough didn't log any minutes, his third CD-DNP in the last two weeks. New 10-day signee Sean Kilpatrick recorded eight points on 3-of-8 shooting. Tony Brown credited "the Kilpatrick kid" with "energy" during his time on the court.
The Nets fell to 17-44 on the season. They are now 2-3 on the Circus road-trip.
Next up: Denver Nuggets on Friday at 9:00 p.m.
- Game Thread: Brooklyn Nets at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:30 PM - NetsDaily
- Nets vs. Lakers - Box Score - ESPN
- Brooklyn Nets vs Los Angeles Lakers - Box Score - NBA.com
- Russell Scores 39 Points, Lakers End Skid With Win Over Nets - AP
- Rondae Presents Retirement Gifts to Kobe (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Nets vs. Lakers (Video) - NBA.com
- D'Angelo's Career High (Video) - NBA.com
- Russell Hits Eight 3-Pointers (Video) - NBA.com
- Huertas With The Filthy Pass (Video) - NBA.com
- Clarkson Tricky Pass (Video) - NBA.com
- Young Does It All (Video) - NBA.com
- Randle With The Jam (Video) - NBA.com
- Brooklyn Nets Postgame: Brown on loss (Video) - YES Network
- Nets Postgame: Kilpatrick on comfort (Video) - YES Network
- Nets Postgame: Lopez on loss (Video) - YES Network
- Nets’ new GM is convincing Prokhorov to take it slow - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Sean Marks came to Nets with an unexpected recommendation - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- D’Angelo Russell sends Nets to loss against Kobe-less Lakers - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets fall to Lakers, 107-101, as Kobe Bryant watches - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets notes: Defensive breakdown - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets can't stop D'Angelo Russell, drop both games in LA (Game Grades) - Benny Nadeau - The Brooklyn Game
- D'Angelo Russell has career-high 39 points in a breakout night for Lakers - Bill Oram - Orange County Register
- D'Angelo Russell scores career-high 39 points in Lakers' 107-101 win over the Nets - Broderick Turner - Los Angeles Times