(Sports Network) - As the Los Angeles Lakers wait for the return of guard
Steve Nash, they continue to get outgunned on the floor.
The Lakers hope to snap their season-high four-game slide -- one in which they
have allowed at least 100 points each time out -- on Friday night against the
lowly Washington Wizards.
After struggling out of the gate to a 1-4 record under Mike Brown and his
Princeton offense, the Lakers eventually turned to Mike D'Antoni and his more
D'Antoni had tons of success with his offense in Phoenix alongside Nash, who
was acquired by the Lakers this offseason from the Suns but hasn't played
since Oct. 31 due to a broken leg.
But with Nash sidelined, Los Angeles is 4-9 under D'Antoni and its current
losing streak is the club's longest since dropping five straight from April
The Lakers yielded 41 points in the first quarter on Thursday night to the New
York Knicks on the way to a 116-107 setback. Kobe Bryant had 31 points, 10
rebounds and six assists in defeat, while Dwight Howard notched 20 points and
Metta World Peace finished with 23 points and six rebounds for the Lakers, who
are also without guard Steve Blake and forward Pau Gasol. Blake is out
following abdominal surgery, while Gasol has missed the last six games due to
"It is knowing the situation. It is tough," said Bryant. "It has been a huge
adjustment for all of us. We have to figure it out. We have some key pieces
out. When they come back we will get this thing lock and loaded and make some
Those adjustments may have to come on the defensive side first as the Lakers
are yielding 111.8 points per game over their losing streak.
The Wizards could be a short-term cure for the Lakers, who play the third of a
four-game road trip on Friday.
Washington is last in the NBA in scoring at just 90.4 points per game and is
just 3-16 on the season.
The Wizards won for the first time in nine road games this season on Tuesday,
beating New Orleans to give them a split of six games since an 0-12 beginning.
However, Washington fell right back into the loss column the following night
in Houston, falling 99-93 to the Rockets.
Rookie Bradley Beal had 20 points and six assists, while Emeka Okafor notched
a season-high 19 points in defeat. Chris Singleton came up with a career-high
"We just take too many tough, bad shots in situations sometimes," Washington
head coach Randy Wittman said. "You have to move the ball and we don't and
that gets us in trouble and we fall in a hole."
Jordan Crawford made the start at point again with A.J. Price and John Wall
both out with injuries. Crawford, who had 17 points versus the Rockets, is
averaging 19.6 points over his last seven games.
The Wizards won their only meeting with the Lakers last season 106-101 in
Washington, snapping a nine-game series losing streak. It was also their first
victory in their past six games at home versus Los Angeles.
The Sports Network