Wednesday , Dec , 28 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Lakers can’t afford long losing streak

(Sports Network) – After they improved their record to four games above .500
(15-11), the Los Angeles Lakers have since dropped two straight contests and
are trying to avoid a long losing streak.

With a record of 15-13, the Lakers sit it third place in the Pacific Division,
two games behind the division-leading Phoenix Suns.

Los Angeles attempts to put the brakes on a two-game losing streak on
Wednesday, as they welcome the Memphis Grizzlies to the Staples Center.
It is the third meeting of the season between the clubs. The teams split a
pair of contests at FedExForum. The Lakers will host Memphis on February 11,
2006 in the final contest of the campaign between the clubs.

Memphis has won five of seven and six of the last nine meetings against the
Lakers. The Grizzlies snapped an 18-game series road losing streak on December
20, 2004. The Grizzlies are 1-18 all-time at the Lakers.

LA returns home Wednesday for a pair of games after going 1-2 on a three-game
road trip. On Monday, Gilbert Arenas scored a game-high 34 points and grabbed
seven rebounds to lead the Washington Wizards over the Lakers, 94-91, at the
MCI Center.

Kobe Bryant scored 31 points, but had only six in the final quarter, in the
loss to Washington for the Lakers, who relinquished a 12-point lead late in
the third and failed to recover in the fourth. Smush Parker had 16 points and
Chris Mihm netted 11 for Los Angeles.

The Lakers, who are scheduled to host the Utah Jazz on Sunday, are 6-6 as the
host this season. They have won three of their last four at the Staples
Center.

Bryant has been on a tear lately as he has scored more than 20 points in 10
straight contests. He is averaging 34.4 points per game in that span. The All-
Star guard has scored in double-digits in all 28 of the Lakers’ games this
season.

LAL