It was due to happen, the
Call this one the fiasco at the fieldhouse, where the only life the Lakers could find was in the arena sponsor's name.
Playing erratically on the second night of a back-to-back set on the road, they scored 27 points in the first half Monday night and really did nothing of note in a 110-91 loss to the
Nobody predicted the Lakers (8-17) would make the playoffs during their modest streak, but a 33-point halftime deficit was their worst since moving to Los Angeles in 1960, according to
Momentum came nowhere near the Lakers' bench a night after
Bryant was part of the misfiring against Indiana, missing nine of his first 10 shots as reporters kept scrambling to look up team futility records.
The Lakers shot 15% in the first quarter (almost a record low) and were 30 seconds from their lowest-scoring half ever until Bryant and
Bryant finished with 21 points on eight-for-26 shooting against a team that had lost eight consecutive games. Jeremy Lin missed all six of his shots,
"We couldn't throw the ball in the ocean sitting on a boat. Tonight was one of those nights," Bryant said. "Sometimes you've got to pat yourself on the back for such an atrocious job."
"They came out like they ain't had a meal in a long time. Some hungry dogs," said the Lakers' Nick Young, who scored 18 points.
The Lakers couldn't be too upset. They went 2-1 on their brief trip and took home some memories for their kids one day, courtesy of Bryant.
Maybe there was an emotional hangover from Bryant's passing Jordan. Or the Lakers finally fell into fatigue with three road games in four nights.
"We could take all that into consideration but that, to me, is an excuse," Coach
Bryant actually grabbed more history Monday, though it was nothing that led to a game-ball presentation at halfcourt.
He committed four fouls, giving him 3,226 in his career and a Lakers record, pushing him past the 3,224 committed by
"I don't think we'll all look back at that and say, 'Man, Kobe was a hacker,'" Scott said. "When you play 19 years, you're going to accumulate some fouls."
It certainly wasn't met with the same media interest and team enthusiasm as Bryant's passing Jordan.
The flight attendants didn't decorate the Lakers' charter plane like they did the previous night. No more celebratory cake for everybody. And thankfully,
Of which Scott said Monday, "Listening to Jordan Clarkson sing to Kobe, I'm glad he plays basketball."
Bryant's lone highlight against Indiana was a dive into the scorer's table that upended the plastic box holding the Indiana players' chewing gum. He failed to corral the loose ball but it was a fine effort.
"If this was 15 years ago, I would have got that. . . ." he said, adding some colorful language and a smile.
There have been plenty of these nights for the Lakers this season. After a few victories in a row, they were briefly forgotten.