Lakers' poor record partially tied to injuries, missed games

As Lakers injuries keep piling up, so do the losses

The Lakers may have struggled to make the playoffs this season at full strength, but the team has been far from injury-free.

After losing a close one Monday night in Portland to the Blazers (27-8), the Lakers fell to 11-24.  The team had a shot to win late in the game, despite playing without Kobe Bryant and Wesley Johnson.

Bryant sat out his fourth game of the season, to rest his 36-year-old body.  Johnson was hurt on Sunday, suffering a strained hip flexor that could keep him out at least a week.

All told, the Lakers have lost players for 127 games this season due to injury, not including Bryant's days off.

The team lost Steve Nash before the season started.  Julius Randle broke his leg on opening night.  Xavier Henry, who has since been cut by the team, tore his Achilles' tendon.  Ryan Kelly (hamstring) and Nick Young (thumb) both sat for extended periods.

Additionally, Wayne Ellington missed six games while on leave from the team after the tragic death of his father. 

All told, the Lakers have lost players for 139 games, which will easily grow by at least 100 before the end of the season (unless the team trades or cuts Nash).

Despite the long list of missed games, the Lakers may fall short of last year's number of 319, which lead to a 27-win season.

Competing regularly has been a challenge with so many players in street clothes.  The Lakers may win 30 games this year, enough to miss the playoffs but likely too many to trigger top-five protection on the first-round pick the Lakers owe the Phoenix Suns (as part of the original Nash trade).

The Lakers visit the Clippers (23-12) on Wednesday. Bryant is expected to play but Johnson, Nash and Randle will add to the missed-games total.

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