Lakers struggle on offense, drop second California Classic game

The Lakers’ start to the first weekend of summer league play has been unkind and plagued with inconsistency as they dropped back-to-back games in the California Classic at the Chase Center.

With a quiet performance on offense and an even more lackluster one on defense, the Lakers lost 92-68 to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.

For Dalton Knecht, the Lakers’ first-round draft pick, his performance in the first two games has had its ups and downs. Like his teammates, the guard has struggled to knock down shots consistently.

Knecht finished with 12 points, one assist and two rebounds in 22 minutes Sunday. He made three of 13 shots from the field and one of three from three, with much of his contribution coming from the free-throw line.

This performance was a similar stat line from the day before when he shot three of 12 from the field and one of four from beyond the arc, also scoring 12 points, against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday.

Despite the poor shooting performances, Knecht looked confident every time he released a shot.

After a slow start to the game, Knecht was more aggressive in the second half, taking more shots. The Lakers began running their offense through him to get him open looks, but he could not get much to fall.

At the start of the second half, Knecht showcased his athleticism by driving through the lane and soaring to the rim for a two-handed dunk. A few plays later, he nearly made another highlight dunk but instead converted a contested layup, resulting in a three-point play.

Knecht sat out the fourth quarter.

After shooting 35 of 81 (43.2%) from the field and 11 of 38 (36.7%) from three-point range Saturday, the Lakers put up an even worse performance Sunday. The team shot 21 of 84 (25%) from the field and four of 34 (11.8%) from deep.

On defense, the Lakers saw Golden State to shoot 34 of 80 (42.5%) from the field and nine of 30 (30%) from beyond the arc.

Armel Traore had 11 points while Colin Castlemen finished with a double-double, leading the team with 10 rebounds with 10 points. Tommy Kuhse and Sean East II also had 10 points.

Despite sitting on the bench and missing the game because of a sore left knee, the fanfare for rookie guard Bronny James continued. Fans in the building, audibly disappointed to miss seeing him play, chanted “We want Bronny” throughout the game.

Head coach Dane Johnson said James’ injury is day to day.

“We’re just being precautionary about it,” Johnson said. “The plan is for him to play the last game hopefully.”

The Lakers are scheduled to play Wednesday against the Miami Heat at Chase Center before heading to Las Vegas for another summer league.

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