Los Angeles Lakers

March 22, 2012 by staff 

Los Angeles Lakers, Championship teams usually know how to play on the road but neither of the last two NBA kingpins are accomplishing much away from their safe havens.

With only nine road wins apiece, the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks still have some work to iron out before the playoffs and the former will get first crack at it tonight in the conclusion of a Texas tour in Big D. The Lakers had won three in a row away from Staples Center until dropping a 107-104 decision in Houston on Tuesday to fall to 9-15 as the visitor.

The Lakers blew a 17-point lead early on and also a 12-point advantage late in the fourth quarter, as the Rockets used a 17-2 burst to stage a 100-97 edge before closing out the game with a much-needed win. Kobe Bryant had a chance to tie the game at the end, but his shot didn’t fall and the five-time champion finished with 29 points on 10 of 27 shooting.

“They got a lot of rebounds. There was one stretch where they got three or four c3acks at a possession, and that changes the momentum of the game,” Bryant said on the team’s website after the game.

Bryant did not wear his protective mask for the first time since Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade broke his nose on a hard foul during the All-Star Game last month. Bryant is averaging an NBA-leading 28.7 points this season.

Pau Gasol finished with 21 points and Andrew Bynum contributed 16 before being ejected late in the third quarter with two technical fouls for Los Angeles, which has lost two in a row since winning five straight and raced out to a 40-25 lead after the first quarter. The 40 points in the period were a season high. LA still maintained a 1 1/2-game lead over the Clippers in the Pacific.

The third-seeded Lakers will play six of their next seven games at home following Wednesday’s tilt with Dallas. They lost for only the second time this season (10-2) when scoring at least 100 points and for the first time in 2011-12 (7-1) when shooting at least 50 percent overall (50.6).

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