The Los Angeles Lakers recorded statement wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and the LA Clippers this past weekend.
In fact, coming into this matchup against the Nets, the Lakers, carrying a four-game winning streak, had a real chance to make a run at the league's best record with the Bucks' recent skid of four losses in five games.
A day earlier, LeBron James was listed as questionable for this game. However, he played but the Lakers couldn't march on, extend their win streak and make a run at the league's best record.
Instead, the Nets stunned the Lakers on their home floor. Here are the biggest takeaways from the game:
Nets backcourt delivers
For the Nets, their backcourt was the pick of the players.
in the first of their four-game California road trip, Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert combined for 45 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.
Brooklyn's Backcourt gets it done again ➡️🔝 Performers pic.twitter.com/hhT6bS3ebs- Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) March 11, 2020
In the middle two quarters, where the Nets turned the game around by outscoring the Lakers 60-47, the duo combined for 24 points and eight assists. They did receive vital help from their teammates - Joe Harris scored 10 of his 12 points and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot had 11 of his 13 in the middle two quarters.
In fact, Dinwiddie had just two points in the fourth quarter, where the Lakers rallied back into the game, but those two points came on a clutch jumper that would eventually be the game-winner.
"It feels good because it's a high-quality opponent on the road," Dinwiddie said on the win in the postgame press conference.
Lakers' All-Stars perform but can't ice the game
LeBron James recorded a near triple-double with 29 points (12-of-22 FG), 12 rebounds, and nine assists in 35 minutes, while Anthony Davis finished with 26 points and eight rebounds.
Both of the Lakers' All-Star had a chance to either extend or win the game but both missed their shots. After Dinwiddie's jumper, the Lakers were trailing 104-102 with 28.4 seconds to go.
First, James missed his layup.
LeBron was this close to tying the game against the Nets 😮 pic.twitter.com/HqyNwRyljw- SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 11, 2020
Then, Anthony Davis, who hit a clutch three earlier to tie the game, missed the potential game-winning three:
Team Defense. pic.twitter.com/QtxiBFBaKS- Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) March 11, 2020
Playoff picture moving forward
After this loss, the Lakers are just three games behind on the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks.
The Lakers, who have the 19 games remaining, have the sixth easiest remaining schedule while the Bucks, who have 17 games remaining, have the 15th easiest remaining schedule. Can the purple and gold make a run for the league's best record?
In terms of the Nets, although not mathematically, they are more or less secured of a playoff spot - given the lead they hold over the ninth-seeded Washington Wizards. It just comes down to whether they finish 7th or 8th in the East.
The Orlando Magic, who hold the 8th seed in the East and have 17 games remaining, have the fifth easiest remaining schedule while the Nets, who have the 18 games remaining, have the 13th most difficult schedule.
The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.