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Lakers Slaughtered in the Desert

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At the moment, something's just not right with this team. A lot of things aren't right. Since returning from their cold-weather road trip, the Los Angeles Lakers have logged four straight performances that fall somewhere between "shaky" and "humiliating." Against up-and-coming greenhorns Oklahoma City and Sacramento, the individual badassedness of Kobe Bryant was just enough to steal the W. Against Cleveland and now Phoenix, not even Kobe could make it close.

The Suns bombed L.A. 118-103 tonight, and where do you even start with this crap? Except for Kobe, who did what he could to contrive points out of thin air, no Laker played satisfactorily. Andrew Bynum was OK early on, but foul trouble cost him minutes and his offensive groove. Pau Gasol was passive in the post, failing to attack quickly before double-teams could form. Lamar Odom fired a whole bunch of long twos and missed nearly all of them. The Laker bench did zilch until garbagio time.

The game didn't get out of hand until the third quarter. It was then that the Suns finally started making all the open threes the Laker D was serving up. In the second half Phoenix scored 1.38 points per possession, a total collapse of a defense that no longer resembles the league's best. Ron Artest would have helped, sure. But let's not kid ourselves by pretending he would have done anything but make the final numbers a bit less horrifying.

With the game clock running down in the fourth, Adam Morrison attempted a fast break, behind-the-back pass to DJ Mbenga. This was either the high point of the contest, or the low point. Depends on your taste for absurdist humor.

In road games against teams 0.500 or better, the Lakers have now lost three in a row by an average of 16 points. They return home to face Golden State tomorrow night. In the meantime, Lakerdom stews.

 

Poss.

TO%

FTA/
FGA

FT%

EFG%

TS%

Off Reb%

Def Reb%

PPP

L.A.

97

11

0.24

77

47

51

27

77

1.06

PHX

97

12

0.31

74

56

59

23

73

1.22