NEW YORK — It started buzzing through the Lakers' locker room and had nothing to do with Pau Gasol angrily challenging teammates a few minutes earlier or Mike D'Antoni continuing to pick on the always-soggy defense.
Kobe Bryant's scoring record at Madison Square Garden was broken Friday by New York forward Carmelo Anthony, as if the bad signs couldn't get any worse for a quickly sinking team.
Anthony had 62 points against Charlotte, topping Bryant by one, and a quick look at the schedule had the Lakers playing next against, of course, the Knicks.
Bryant had already exited the Orlando arena Friday and there was a minor attempt to pull him off the team bus to talk for a minute about Anthony's heroics. It failed.
So the rest of the Lakers were asked about Anthony, who made 23 of 35 shots in the Knicks' 125-96 victory. Bryant, for the record, made 19 of 31 shots, and all 20 of his free throws, in the Lakers' 126-117 victory over New York in February 2009.
That Lakers team was on a roll, eventually winning the first of two consecutive championships. This Lakers team is merely happy when it doesn't get embarrassed.
Anthony and the Knicks (16-27) will be waiting Sunday, the final stop on the Lakers' heatedly eventful seven-game Grammy trip.
"It's big time," Nick Young said of Anthony's achievement. "Obviously, they needed something like that to happen, the way they've been losing."
Anthony might turn out to be the tiniest of the Lakers' worries over the next few months.
Gasol lit into the team after a 114-105 loss Friday to Orlando, unhappy with the effort against the team with the NBA's second-worst record. He later said he hurled his shoes in the locker room because he was upset the Lakers (16-28) kept losing to lousy teams. They are now 1-4 against Milwaukee, Orlando, Utah and Philadelphia, a combined 48-124 before Saturday.
Lakers angst started more than a week earlier, with Young getting in a fight in Phoenix and later accusing teammates of not backing him up.
It continued Friday with D'Antoni seriously questioning the Lakers' defensive commitment and saying he no longer wanted to field questions about their comparatively successful offense. Just defense from now on, he insisted, only partly joking.
The Lakers allowed 108.2 points in their last seven games and tumbled 12 games under .500 Friday for the first time since falling to 34-46 near the end of the 2004-05 season.
Gasol said it best: "We are who we are right now."
Twitter: @Mike_BresnahanCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times