Lakers' Nick Young relishing 'player hater' role

The Lakers may be hurting their lottery position with three wins over their last five games, but Nick Young wants his team to play spoiler over the remainder of the season.

On Tuesday, the Lakers (25-48) gave the New York Knicks a costly 127-96 defeat. On Sunday, they upset the favored Phoenix Suns, 115-99.

"Welcome to the players' haters' ball. The players hate us here," said Young after the win.  "We're trying to hate, hate, hate, hate, hate ... New York to Phoenix, it's over."

The Lakers will have the opportunity to play spoiler, playing seven potential playoff teams over their final nine. They'll get a chance to beat the Portland Trail Blazers for a second-straight time, on Tuesday night at Staples Center.

Young was impressed by Chris Kaman's strong performance on Sunday, scoring 28 points with 17 rebounds and six assists against the Suns.

"When you're losing and things aren't going right for you, but you still just get up and go out there and play the way he did tonight, and not let everything get to him, it's big," said Young.  "It's something we've all been dealing with all year."

The Lakers are now tied with the Sacramento Kings with the sixth and seventh worst records in the league. If the Lakers hope to "catch" the Utah Jazz (23-51) and Boston Celtics (23-50) in the standings, they'll need both franchises to win at least twice before the end of the season.

Of course, that assumes the Lakers don't win again. Based on their recent success, that's hardly a given.


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