The Lakers almost won all three games in Week 10, falling short by three points to the Memphis Grizzlies, while beating the Nuggets in Denver and the Indiana Pacers at Staples Center.
With Week 9 ending in a loss to the Phoenix Suns, Kobe Bryant showed positive signs, adapting to fewer minutes.
On Monday, Bryant led the Lakers to a 111-103 win over the Nuggets, focusing on getting his teammates involved -- to the point that Coach Byron Scott would actually like Bryant to shoot more.
The Lakers started strong, but ultimately fell short to the Grizzlies, 109-106. Marc Gasol was a difficult cover for the Lakers, and possibly a future target for the team, once he hits free agency.
Ed Davis missed a free throw at the end of the game, after one of his best performances as a Laker.
Despite losing Wesley Johnson to a strained hip flexor, the Lakers defeated the Pacers, 88-87, on a Bryant game winner.
Bryant will sit out Monday to rest, missing the Lakers' game against the Trail Blazers in Portland. Scott said Bryant has managed to keep his temper in check, despite the team's struggles.
Meanwhile, Steve Nash finally surfaced. Rookie Julius Randle will undergo foot surgery on Tuesday.
Jordan Hill had an off month through December, but Carlos Boozer has pulled it together in an unexpected twist.
New Lakers center Tarik Black said he's ready to work hard and add a defensive presence. Black and Jordan Clarkson were sent to the NBA Development League for a game, both recording double-doubles for the D-Fenders.
Clarkson's father's cancer diagnosis affected the young guard on the court
New All-Star balloting returns had Bryant as the fourth-highest vote-getter.
Finally, Bryant said the AAU system fails to prepare U.S. basketball players.
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