Jan 8, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) watches from the bench during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

When it Rains it Pours: Lakers Slide Continues


If you haven’t already, it’s about time you hit the panic button on the 2012-2013 season.

And hit it hard.

Things have officially gone from bad to worse these past couple of days, and tonight’s loss at the hands of the Houston Rockets was no different.

Los Angeles came out hot, building a lead of up to 14 in the first quarter. They went into the half up 62-59, but it seemed reality set in when the Lakers came out in the third.

Led by James Harden, the Rockets were the team that came out of halftime with the fire necessary to pull ahead, building a lead and never looking back. They beat the Lakers 125-112.

Harden scored 31, making tonight his 13th straight game with at least 25 points. He also dished out 9 assists.

The Lakers have had their troubles this season and tonight’s game was no different. Dwight Howard missed tonight’s game and will remain out due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

Jan 8, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Robert Sacre (50) reacts after a play during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

They were also without Pau Gasol, who is out with a concussion and Jordan Hill due to a right hip injury. The three are out indefinitely.

Before these injuries, the Los Angeles defense has been lacking, to say the least. Now without their 3 big men, Robert Sacre was called to pick up the slack.

Sacre was playing on minimal rest coming from the D-League Showcase in Reno, Nevada on Monday.

He did his best, scoring 10 points, but wasn’t much help on the defensive end.

Then again, what did you expect? There’s a reason he was in the D-League and not starting beside Howard this season.

In the fourth, Los Angeles conceded defeat early when Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant were pulled with 1:43 remaining in the game.

Bryant finished with 20 points on a mediocre 8-22 from the field.

Jan 8, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash (10) brings the ball up the court during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

One of the few bright spots of the night came just before half as Steve Nash, on a pass to Antawn Jamison, became the fifth player in NBA history to record 10,000 career assists. He joins Mark Jackson, Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd, and career assist leader, John Stockton as the only ones to hit the mark.

That’s some pretty elite company, and well deserved for the 2-time MVP.

At 38 years old and coming off injury Nash has not disappointed in the least. He finished tonight with 16 points and 10 assists.

Metta World Peace played well, scoring 24 points and hitting four 3-pointers, but that is about all the good that can be said after tonight’s game.

Unfortunately things aren’t looking any brighter at the end of the tunnel.

Next up, the Lakers stay on the road in a match up against the San Antonio Spurs, followed by four games at home. Two of which are against the Thunder and the Heat. This tough stretch couldn’t have come at a worse time for the short-handed Lakers, but that’s how the season has played out thus far.

Reports after Tuesday’s game are mixed about the severity of Howard’s shoulder. At this point we will have to wait and see how things pan out.

For the moment, the Lakers will need to find a way to rebound tonight’s loss and scrap together some wins if they want to stay in the hunt for the playoffs.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Houston Rockets Los Angeles Lakers Steve Nash

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