The Lakers (18-33) have improved slightly over recent games, getting a pair of wins against two non-playoff teams (the Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers).
On Tuesday night, they'll host the Utah Jazz (17-33).
The Jazz beat the Lakers in Utah in December on a late basket from Derrick Favors. A week later, the Lakers got a huge game from Kendall Marshall in his first start, helping the team even the season series at one apiece.
Injuries remain a major factor for the Lakers. Kobe Bryant (knee), Pau Gasol (groin), Jordan Farmar (hamstring), Nick Young (knee), Jodie Meeks (ankle) and Xavier Henry (knee) are out.
Steve Nash (back, knee) said he expects to play Tuesday.
Gordon Hayward is Utah's leading scorer at 16.3 points a game while averaging 5.0 assists.
In two games this season against the Lakers, Hayward has averaged 23 points and 7.5 assists while shooting 51.5% from the field and 54.5% from three-point range.
On the season, Hayward is shooting a much lower percentage at 40.8% and 30.6%, respectively.
The Lakers have five of their six top scorers out. They'll need strong defensive performances against Hayward, likely from Wesley Johnson and Steve Blake.
Blake, in particular, has been a stabilizing presence for the Lakers on both sides of the ball.
The Jazz score only 94.1 points a night. In general, the Lakers have been a poor defensive team this season, giving up 105.8 points a game.
Without Gasol, the Lakers have looked to Chris Kaman for offense inside.
On Sunday, Kaman scored a season-high 27 points in a loss to the Chicago Bulls.
The Lakers need Kaman to stay hot while they play good defense as a unit.
Favors can be a load, averaging 13.2 points and 9.2 rebounds a game. He's scored 14.5 a game with 10 boards against the Lakers while shooting 58.3% from the field.
Utah also gets production inside from Enes Kanter, who is averaging 11.7 points.
The Jazz just upset the Miami Heat in Utah. Both the Lakers and Jazz are competing for a lottery pick. Though the game should be competitive, the winner Tuesday could end up with a lower draft pick in 2014.