"Well, it's officially over now," said a despondent Kobe Bryant in the postgame locker room. "Our season is done. Over. Official time of death: tonight."
Los Angeles' defeat saw the team fall to 30-31 on the season and 2.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The season-ending loss is especially disappointing to the team because just two days earlier they had saved their season with a victory over the Hawks giving them their 30th season-saving win of the season.
"I thought we were back. I thought we were a legitimate threat," said point guard Steve Nash. "I mean, 30 season-saving wins in a season is a lot. But, no. Now it's all over. It all fell apart so fast."
Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni said that despite the many season-ending losses his team has suffered this year, each new season-ending loss isn't any easier to endure.
"Most teams face only one season-ending loss per season," said D'Antoni. "This team has had to go through more than thirty times that amount. It's tough on them. They take it hard. Well, except for Dwight [Howard]. He seems to remain in pretty good spirits no matter how many season-ending losses we have."
With their season now over, the Lakers face games this week against the lowly Hornets and Raptors with the opportunity to record their 31st and 32nd season-saving victories of the season.