The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

January 12, 2013

Durant's 42 helps send Lakers to 6th straight loss

(Continued)

Westbrook, a Los Angeles native, has little sympathy for the Lakers.

"They're not done. They have a lot more games left, and I'm pretty sure they're going to find a way to get it together," Westbrook said. "Our job is to worry about our team and our organization. It wasn't easy. I just think we did a good job of playing team basketball defensively, and it showed. Kevin took control most of the game."

The Lakers (15-21) hadn't lost this many consecutive games since the year before they acquired Gasol and embarked on a run to three straight NBA finals. With Cleveland and Milwaukee visiting over the next four days, the Lakers have a chance to get competitive again — but they're facing an uphill climb just to get into playoff contention.

"I told the team, the biggest thing is our season starts Sunday," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We've got to make a run. We've got one shot at it, and everybody needs to get ready mentally and physically. From there on, we can't make any more false steps. That's just how it is. We put ourselves in this ditch, and we're the only ones that can get it out, and hopefully we can get some guys back and start our season Sunday."

Bryant scored 28 points and Antawn Jamison added 19 against Oklahoma City, but Los Angeles looked lost and overmatched in its third straight game without Howard and Gasol.

The Thunder eliminated Bryant and the Lakers from last season's playoffs in five games, and Los Angeles has shown few signs of being able to compete with the defending conference champions this season. Injuries aren't the only problem, but Howard likely is out for at least another week with a shoulder injury, while Gasol still hasn't been cleared to return from his concussion.

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