Oh, those back-to-back blues for Lakers

Lakers forward Pau Gasol, left, tries to work inside on Denver Nuggets forward J.J. Hickson during the Lakers' 111-99 loss Wednesday. The Lakers have struggled in the second game of back-to-back contests.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

There’s only one thing to say about the Lakers and back-to-back sets.

Three down, 16 to go.

The Lakers have been dreadful on the second night of consecutive games this season, getting blown out by 31 in Golden State, losing to the Anthony Davis Show by 11 in New Orleans and fading in the fourth quarter of a 111-99 loss Wednesday in Denver.

Three losses by an average of 18 points. Not exactly competitive.


Can’t wait for that trip next month with four games in five nights — back-to-backs at Oklahoma City and Charlotte, then a night off, then back-to-backs against Atlanta and Memphis. Sounds like fun.

Kobe Bryant might be back at that time, but maybe not, and who knows when Steve Nash’s body will start cooperating. Or if.

Part of the problem is the obvious attrition suffered when your projected starting backcourt isn’t healthy.

“Everybody knows if Kobe’s around, things are different,” Steve Blake said.


What can the Lakers do in the meantime?

“I think the problem is we get down early so when we make our run, they’re still always just a little ahead of us,” Blake said. “If your runs are putting you just down two or four, then they go on their run and they’re right back up to eight or so.”

Last week in Houston, the Lakers took an early 19-point lead with an incredible display of three-point shooting. They ending up winning by one when Blake drilled a late three-pointer.

Unfortunately for the Lakers, that was the first game of a back-to-back. The second game wasn’t so close, Davis totaling a career-high 32 points and six blocked shots for New Orleans.


“It’s not easy to have back-to-backs when we’re half young and half old,” Chris Kaman said. “Sometimes it looks like we’re pretty stagnant on offense. We’re moving, but not hard.”

They didn’t appear to be moving at all in the fourth quarter Wednesday against Denver, trailing by only four when it started but falling back as Timofey Mozgov tied career highs with 23 points and four blocked shots.

“The big thing Kobe was talking about the other day was being prepared. Our preparation as individuals has got to be a little bit better, myself included,” Kaman said. “It surprised me, [Mozgov] coming out there and doing what he did.”

The Lakers aren’t alone. Many teams fail on the second nights of consecutive games. It’s just particularly noticeable on a Lakers team with such a tiny margin for error.


Blake mentioned a schedule quirk, an unfavorable one for the Lakers.

“It would be nice if we could get a back-to-back where the second one’s at home, so the crowd could give us some energy,” he said, not knowing that only once this season will that happen — in March.


Rookies Ryan Kelly and Elias Harris were sent down Thursday to the Lakers’ Development League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders. They each appeared briefly in two games with the Lakers. ... The Lakers will donate $150,000 to the Philippine Red Cross to help relief efforts from last week’s typhoon. The team will also donate proceeds from in-arena auctions at five home games from Nov. 12-24.


mike.bresnahan@latimes.comTwitter: @Mike_Bresnahan