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Lakers see three-game road trip as a challenge

November 15, 2010 | 10:42 am

Kobe disappointment On paper, this three-game trip the Lakers are about to embark upon looks easy.

After all, the three teams they face -- Milwaukee, Detroit and Minnesota -- are a combined 12-19. Only Milwaukee (5-5) has a .500 record. Detroit (4-6) (Central Division) and Minnesota (3-8) (Northwest Division) are in last place in their respective divisions.

But the Lakers, who have lost two consecutive games, see this as anything but easy.

"I think some of it is a challenge to play on the road," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. "I think it will help us as a team to do that. Regardless of how we go about it, I think it just helps the team focus on themselves, get themselves together and understand the part  of playing defense together."

The Lakers' first game will be in Milwaukee against the Bucks on Tuesday night. Then it's on to Detroit to face the Pistons in a back-to-back game Wednesday night. The Lakers finish up the trip in Minneapolis against the Timberwolves.

The Lakers also are awaiting the results of an MRI on Lamar Odom's bruised bone in his right foot and an MRI on Theo Ratliff's sore left knee.

-- Broderick Turner

Photo: Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol find a win out of reach in the closing moments of the Lakers' 116-121 loss to the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center on Nov. 14, 2010. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times