LOS ANGELES -- After seeing his team collapse and lose yet another recent close game, Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott has come to a conclusion.
"The biggest thing with us right now is the last three, four minutes of the game, we have no confidence," Scott said after his team's 106-96 loss to the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center Tuesday. "We're almost waiting for the wheels to fall off. That's the biggest thing right now."
The Lakers have lost five straight and 14 of their past 15. Their latest loss came when the Nuggets closed out Tuesday's game on an 11-2 run, with nine of those points scored by point guard Ty Lawson.
Prior to Tuesday, the Lakers had lost two of their past three games in overtime.
"The past couple of weeks, losing close games, losing in overtime the last couple of games, we're starting to lose confidence when the game is on the line, down the stretch, that we can get it done," Scott said.
"There's been points where I feel that we're up 5-6 points [with] 3-4 minutes [left] and guys are looking at the clock like, 'Please run out.' And you can't play that way. You can't play not to lose. You've got to play to win. We've got to get that confidence as well."
Lakers guard Jeremy Lin said when defenses turn up the pressure late, the Lakers fold on offense.
"I think what ends up happening is we end up playing a lot of one-on-one down the stretch, and I think that's something that's tough to win games on, to be able to hit those type of shots consistently to be able to get the win," Lin said after a poor performance off the bench, recording seven points and five turnovers.
So is it a confidence issue?
"I just think it's just the pressure of the defense," Lin said. "We're not able to get the things that we're able to get in the first three quarters as easily. Just got to get the ball moving."