DENVER — With the Los Angeles Lakers’ 0-4 start the first time his team has lost four straight games to begin a season since he was a rookie nearly 20 years ago, LeBron James vowed to tweak his personal approach moving forward.
« I wasn’t aggressive enough in a lot of my turnovers, » James said after committing eight turnovers in LA’s 110-99 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. « I was coming off a lot of screens, looking to pass, get guys involved and I wasn’t aggressive enough. »
James, who finished with 19 points on 8-for-21 shooting, nine assists and seven rebounds to go with those turnovers, said the adjustment will start in the Lakers’ next game, Friday on the road against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
« That’s an easy fix for me, » James said. « I’ll be much better on Friday with that. I’ve done it over and over the course of my career. That’s an easy fix. I’m not worried about that. »
There are plenty of other issues for the Lakers to fix at the moment. They shot 8-for-30 from 3 (26.7%), continuing the worst 3-point shooting start by any team in league history with at least 100 attempts through four games, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.
« Well, I think we were shooting 20%, and today we shot 26%, » Lakers guard Patrick Beverley said, without a hint of irony. « So we got better. »
LA was beyondbounded 54-47 against Denver. It was nearly doubled in fastbreak scoring, 35-18. And it was controlled in second-chance points, 15-8.
The Lakers also played their first game of the season without point guard Russell Westbrook, who sat because of left hamstring soreness. Lakers coach Darvin Ham did not rule out the Wolves game for Westbrook’s return, although James cautioned against a hasty comeback.
« Russ, definitely dealing with a hamstring, » James said. « I played with [Dwyane] Wade. And I don’t know how, but you just have to be cool with all that. You can’t force it until that thing is ready to go. You’ve got to be very conscious of that. »
On the bright side, Anthony Davis (22 points, 14 rebounds) played through discomfort in his lower back and said he’ll « be fine » going forward. The Lakers could use that.
« We’re four games in, it sucks to lose, but having 78 games left, there’s plenty of time for us to right the ship and it starts now, » Ham said. « It starts yesterday. »