Caught in the Web: Lakers suffer third consecutive loss, but game against Orlando shows some positive signs
The Times' Mike Bresnahan details why the mood in the Lakers' 96-94 loss to the Orlando Magic was a much different setting than when they were here last year celebrating the NBA championship.
The Times' Broderick Turner explains how the Magic's aggressiveness paid off against the Lakers.
The loss to Orlando marks the first time the Lakers have lost three consecutive games since February 2008, when they acquired forward Pau Gasol. But Gasol tells the Orange County Register's Kevin Ding that the team isn't worried about streaks.
NBA.com's Dick Scanion says Orlando hopes its victory over the Lakers proves the team is capable of reaching the NBA Finals again.
The Riverside Press Enterprise's Greg Patton says the effort was there against Orlando, but it doesn't change the fact the Lakers still lost.
The Orlando Sentinel's Brian Schmitz quotes Lakers Coach Phil Jackson as saying, "I think they're as good, maybe better, a little better than they were last year."
The Daily News' Elliott Teaford says Lakers guard Kobe Bryant got the last shot he wanted, but it still didn't go in.
Lakers forward Ron Artest dyed his hair featuring the word defense, but then he allowed Magic forward Vince Carter to scorch him for 25 points. The irony wasn't lost on Bresnahan.
With his new cut, Artest had a blond moment, admitting to Ding that he wasn't aware of the final score.
Patton notes Jackson was okay with Artest's new haircut.Teaford notices that the Lakers are split on whether they should be worried about their current three-game losing streak.
Despite the loss, Ding says there's plenty for the Lakers to feel good about in their effort against Orlando.
The Orlando Sentinel's George Diaz has a new favorite player in Magic forward Matt Barnes, for guarding Bryant, who Diaz described as the "most formidable of all Hollywood divas."
ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin says Barnes gives Orlando a physical edge.
McMenamin also outlines how the Lakers have struggled since Bryant's return, even though his presence benefits the team.
Fox Sports' Charley Rosen says Orlando's physical play overwhelmed the Lakers.
ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzkty is rightfully worried about the Lakers' offense.
Forum Blue and Gold notes that though the Lakers had to fight back to try to win against Orlando, there were plenty of things to like about their performance.
Howard the Dunk outlines the four key factors that led to Orlando's victory over the Lakers.
Silver Screen and Roll, in tongue-in-cheek fashion, summed up the Lakers' three-game road losing streak this way: "The Road Trip Went Really Well."
More Lakers links
The New York Times' Thomas Golianopoulos has a must-read story on the toughest player Artest faced growing up in Queens, N.Y.
ESPN's Lisa Salters talks shop with Artest's barber, "Boogie," about the new dye job.
Tweet of the Day: "No such thing as a (Kobe stopper) he's the badest man n the league. He had 35pts 2day. I jus try 2 make him work 4 every point. Respect!!!" -- Matt_Barnes22 (Orlando Magic forward Matt Barnes).
Reader Comment of the Day: "Color me NOT worried. The Lakers are ramping up their intensity on the court, and when the playoffs start, they'll be in full stride." -- The Outlaw
-- Mark Medina
Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Orlando center Dwight Howard tries to block a reverse layup by Kobe Bryant in the second half Sunday. Credit: John Raoux / Associated Press