Lakers fall below .500 again, and Frank Vogel’s job likely depends on Anthony Davis returning to save the day

On a night when the Kansas City Chiefs pulled off one of the most improbable comebacks in sports history in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs, you’re forgiven if you weren’t paying attention to the Los Angeles Lakers — on a random Sunday night in January —  nearly pulling off a desperate rally of their own. 

Lucky for you, we’re here to keep you informed on the stuff that really matters, like the Lakers’ miserable season continuing to circle the drain after a 113-107 defeat in Miami. Down by 23 with just over nine minutes remaining in the game, and 16 with five minutes to go, the Lakers cut Miami’s lead to five on a LeBron James three-point play at the 2:09 mark. 

But they never got any closer. 

Now they’re back to under .500. 

At 23-24, the Lakers, who’ve been hovering around the .500 line since before Christmas, sit in the Western Conference’s No. 8 spot, three games back in the loss column of the play-in line. As crazy as it sounds, they’re only four games in the loss column ahead of the lottery line. 

LeBron did everything he could again, scoring 11 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter. He added 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals, though his 1-for-8 line from 3 didn’t help. 

Russell Westbrook finished with 24 points, nine assists and nine rebounds on 9-of-15 shooting, but Carmelo Anthony was the only other Laker in double figures. Two starters, Dwight Howard and Trevor Ariza, put up bagels. 

After getting a win over Orlando to start a six-game road trip, the Lakers now have four games in six days against the Nets, Sixers, Hornets and Hawks. 

There is not an easy win in there. If they get swept or even take a 1-3 over that stretch, will Frank Vogel still be the coach when they get home? I’m not sure I would bet on it. 

Hopefully, for Vogel’s sake Anthony Davis, who is reportedly close to returning, can get back on the floor and make an immediate difference. Because right now, that is the ace up L.A.’s sleeve. You can’t hit full panic mode until AD is back, even if he was having kind of a ho-hum…

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