Jordan Hill a bright spot in Lakers’ 107-99 loss to Nets

first_imgJordan Clarkson (18 points), Wesley Johnson (17 points), Wayne Ellington (13 points) and Jabari Brown (11 points) also scored in double-figures.But Scott argued that Hill “really gave us a chance to win the game. Without him tonight, we probably don’t even get this close.”Hill’s initial admission on not feeling prepared partly explains Scott’s season-long concern about his play. Despite Hill posting career-highs in points (12.3 per game), rebounds (eight) and playing time (27.5 minutes), Scott believes the Lakers forward does not consistently hustle. “I still think he can play harder,” Scott said. “That’s one thing I’m a little disappointed in. From last year on the outside looking in, I thought he was a real energy guy. I don’t think he is that right now. But he has to get to that point.”Hill provided that energy against Brooklyn, though it did not matter much. The Lakers had absences for reasons including ailments (Jeremy Lin’s upper respiratory infection) and healthy scratches (Carlos Boozer, Ed Davis). Scott faulted his team for not competing in the first quarter, in which the Nets outscored them 30-19. He also blamed the Lakers for making “boneheaded plays” against Brooklyn center Brook Lopez, who had 30 points on 13-of-22 shooting and 11 rebounds. “It’s more disappointing,” Scott said. “I understand it’s late in the season and guys get to the point where they’re frustrated, minds start to wander and you think about the summer. But we’re in a situation right now with the guys that we have, they still have to look at the future. Everybody is getting evaluated.”A segment of Lakers fans may care more about the team’s NBA Draft lottery odds than Scott’s contention that the final 10 games will heavily influence which players he wants to return next season. With the Lakers (19-53) holding the NBA’s fourth-worst record, they have a 10.4-percent chance to land the No. 1 pick as well as an 82.8-percent chance to retain their top-five protected pick otherwise owed to Philadelphia. The Lakers could improve those chances with a loss today to the Sixers (18-56). But the games still mean something to the Lakers, including Hill, who said he hopes the Lakers exercise the $9 million team option they hold on him for the 2015-16 season.“I’ve had fun here and love the staff,” Hill said. “I love my teammates. But you’ll never know if you’ll be back.”It also remains unclear if Hill will have a chance to prove his case against the Sixers, though Scott said he will consider playing Hill and Boozer together while sitting Tarik Black and Robert Sacre. But Hill pledged he will improve his effort, just as he showed in his unexpected appearance against Brooklyn. “I’m playing a lot more minutes this year. I’m trying to adapt, ” Hill said. “I know how to keep myself at a good pace. I can keep going out there and keep playing 30 minutes a game if I can. I just have to stay with it.” NEW YORK >> An hour approached before tipoff, and Lakers forward Jordan Hill believed he would sit again.Lakers coach Byron Scott gave him that impression after Hill became a healthy scratch the past three games for the sake of developing the team’s younger players. But Scott reconsidered, causing Hill to hesitate when his coach asked if he felt ready.Hill soon said otherwise, but the moment revealed a bit of irony, for two different reasons. Scott believed Hill represented one of the few players who actually competed consistently in the Lakers’ 107-99 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday at Barclays Center after Hill had a team-high 22 points on 10-of-17 shooting and 16 rebounds in 27 minutes off the bench.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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