The Los Angeles Lakers lost another professional basketball game, this time falling to the Utah Jazz in a 96-79 loss. There were few positive vibes outside of the first quarter when the three-point shots were falling and the lead for Los Angeles was building. The 15-point lead they built disappeared in the second quarter, when the Lakers scored a minimal 10 points through the entire quarter.
Things didn't get much better after halftime. Steve Nash had to leave his second consecutive game early with nerve root irritation problems. Kendall Marshall tweaked his ankle but played through the game. Steve Blake seemed to aggravate his elbow. The Lakers are trapped in a never-ending cycle of injuries, dings and disappointment.
Chris Kaman racked in his second-straight game with at least 20 points. He finished the night with a game-high 25 points along with 14 rebounds and four assists. He's played well with the minutes finally trickling down to him, though it's clearly not enough to carry the injury-riddled purple and bruised.
Don't look for rays of sunshine on the basketball court out of this one. There were a few shining plays -- Blake hitting Shawne Williams in stride on a backdoor cut, Nash dancing around the paint before hitting a scoop layup -- but the overall tone of this game was overwhelmingly blase.
The Lakers were killed on the glass (55-40) and shot 38 percent as a team. That they were dismantled by one of the few teams in the Western Conference under them is a telling sign of how far this team has fallen. There is a cellar, the Lakers have found it and it's not there to store vino. It's serving as a home for a team run down by injuries, untapped potential and random Chris Kaman scoring bursts.
There's one game left until the much-needed All-Star break. It's against the Oklahoma City Thunder, because of course.