Fighting a losing battle

first_imgIt was the predictable result from a game that matched the NBA’s unstoppable force – the Mavericks won their 17th consecutive game, improving to 52-9 – and the sinking ship that is the Lakers (33-31), who lost for the 12th time in 15 games. Bryant made just 4 of 16 shots in the first half and finished the game with 25 points. The Mavericks were led by Josh Howard’s 24 points and Dirk Nowitzki’s 19. After he referenced the “unbelievable energy” that brings together teams like the Mavericks, Jackson could only watch as guard Smush Parker was ejected in the second quarter after his second technical foul. Parker was called for two fouls in the first 3:53 and then was assessed a technical foul by referee Eddie F. Rush as he complained from the bench. Early in the second period, Parker lost the ball on a drive and drew a technical for protesting that he was fouled. Thus Parker was tossed at 9:28 of the second quarter, joining Odom as the only Laker to be ejected this season. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Bryant sat at the end of the bench, talking with injured forward Lamar Odom, and there was more than a glimmer of hope in that. Odom was cleared to practice today with his torn labrum and guaranteed that he would play Thursday at Denver. But Lakers coach Phil Jackson was not about to claim that Odom’s return – as well as Luke Walton’s – would be enough to stabilize the Lakers, who are riding their second six-game losing streak in barely a month. “The way they’re playing now, it doesn’t matter who comes back,” Jackson said. “Jesus Christ could come back and we still wouldn’t have a chance because we’ve ruined the mix by not playing together, not doing the right thing.” The 36-point loss was the Lakers worst at home since they moved to Los Angeles and matched the sixth-worst loss in franchise history. The Lakers’ worst loss ever came in 129-83 blowout at Portland in Jan. 1995. They also were saved from matching the lowest-scoring game in their history only by Jordan Farmar’s jumper with 6.9 seconds left. The Lakers scored just 70 points in a 19-point loss at Cleveland in Nov. 2002. “We were embarrassed today,” Jackson said. “That was an embarrassing loss for us. There’s no excuse for the way we played. I don’t care if it’s the first day of Daylight Savings Time. It’s still not a good enough excuse.” center_img LOS ANGELES – Wasn’t it only last season that Kobe Bryant was scoring 62 points in three quarter against the Dallas Mavericks, outscoring the eventual Western Conference champions all by himself in a game the Lakers won by 22 points? The contrast couldn’t have been any greater Sunday night, as the Lakers suffered the worst home loss in history to the Mavericks. All Bryant could do was watch the final minutes tick away as the 108-72 final went in the record books. last_img

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