Superstar-laden Lakers to miss NBA playoffs two seasons after winning title

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The Los Angeles Lakers were denied a chance to play in the postseason Tuesday night with a loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Two years removed from winning the NBA championship in the bubble, the superstar-laden Lakers squad will not have any chance to compete for a title even as the team has LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook.

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Lakers players including from left, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook sit with teammates on the bench late in the game against the Nuggets at Crypto.com Arena, Sunday April 3, 2022.

Lakers players including from left, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook sit with teammates on the bench late in the game against the Nuggets at Crypto.com Arena, Sunday April 3, 2022.
(Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The team needed to win to stay afloat and at least make the No. 10 seed and get back into the play-in tournament but took a big loss to Phoenix 121-110. The loss dropped the Lakers to 31-48 and into 11th in the Western Conference.

“It is nothing more than we just didn’t get it done,” Anthony said. “We can’t make excuses; we just didn’t get it done.”

The Lakers have only made the playoffs twice since the 2013-14 season. Frank Vogel led the team to the Finals and defeated the Miami Heat in the coronavirus-impacted season. The team lost in the first round of the playoffs last season.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis shoots over Phoenix Suns center JaVale McGee and forward Mikal Bridges during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in Phoenix.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis shoots over Phoenix Suns center JaVale McGee and forward Mikal Bridges during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in Phoenix.
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

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“We had the pieces but injuries got into the way of that. That was the difference in our season,” Davis said.

Vogel’s job now appears to be in jeopardy after three seasons with Los Angeles. According to Bleacher Report, the two sides are expected to part ways once the season comes to an end.

“I can say it has not been due to lack of effort. We have all put in the work. Our guys stayed fighting right till the end. We brought integrity to the process. We just fell short though a disjointed season,” Vogel said .

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James talks with Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in Phoenix.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James talks with Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in Phoenix.
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

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The trio of James, Davis and Westbrook have a good chance of playing together next season once again. James and Davis are under contract while Westbrook is very well likely to exercise a $47 million player option.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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