0151 GMT July 16, 2019
Against one of the teams they're chasing for a playoff spot, the Lakers instead fell five-and-a-half games out of the postseason picture after suffering a 113-105 loss to city rivals the Clippers, Sky Sports reported.
"This was definitely a game we needed tonight for obvious reasons," James said. "This is a team we're chasing. We didn't take care of business."
James finished the night with 27 points, eight rebounds and six assists, as he was able to get to the basket and draw contact against a variety of Clippers defenders – from point guards to centers.
Rajon Rondo put up a season-high 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, it still wasn't enough.
In part, this stemmed from the Lakers' rash of injuries. Brandon Ingram – who has averaged 27.8 points in his last six games – was a late scratch due to right shoulder soreness. Kyle Kuzma left the game late with a sprained right ankle. Lonzo Ball has been out six weeks because of a left ankle sprain.
"I haven't been [in] a part of a season with this ton of injuries to all our key guys," said James, who missed five weeks himself earlier in the season, "to big, big key guys. This is just the way the season has been."
With the Clippers continued their march to a playoff spot, the Lakers attempt to narrow their focus to the day-to-day. "Everyone's been talking about the postseason," James said. "We need to worry about each and every game, how we can get better with our process and better with our team."
The Lakers bid to revive their playoff hopes at home to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday.