It has been a season of adjustments for Lakers center Brook Lopez

When Brook Lopez needs an escape, the animal kingdom provides it.

Not the theme park at his beloved Disneyland. Instead, Lopez found himself drawn to a tiny raised image of a lion in a painting at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

“You look at the detail on that one thing,” Lopez said. “It would take me months and months to even draw something nearly as well as that. There’s this whole masterpiece full of details like that. I love spending time there. It reminds me of growing up out here, going with my parents. It’s something I could definitely go to to find just sort of a release from everything.”

These kinds of things remind Lopez of growing up in Los Angeles. Through a difficult season, Lopez has relied on familiarity in places and people — he reconnected with a friend from high school — to clear his mind. In the last several weeks, Lopez has been a productive player for the Lakers despite having very limited playing time.


“Obviously it was an adjustment coming from Brooklyn, playing guaranteed minutes and just things like that, coming [into], sort of, I guess, uncertainty in that regard,” Lopez said. “It was a great learning experience for me. It was something I hadn’t done before and I think it helped me grow a lot as a player. “

Lopez has averaged a career low in minutes per game at 23.2, a full six minutes less than his last full season. But in the 11 games since Brandon Ingram got hurt, Lopez scored in double figures each night before the win in Memphis, and has averaged 19.5 points per game.

He had a more featured role in Brooklyn and didn’t have a choice in coming to Los Angeles because he was traded. And while Lopez’s frustration has sometimes shown, the veteran center has worked through that for his future.

“I was just trying to be a positive teammate a lot and help these young guys,” Lopez said. “Coach them through rough patches and gave them the benefit of my experience and my years and just personally just trying to rededicate myself back to the game and the gym in whichever way I could.”


Kuzma visited his mother upon arriving in Michigan. “I’m going home [Sunday] and my mom is cooking spaghetti,” Kuzma said. “So that’s all I’m thinking about right now.” … Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will play in Detroit for the first time since he left the organization to sign with the Lakers.



When: Monday, 4 p.m. PDT.

On air: TV: Spectrum SportsNet, Spectrum Deportes; Radio: 710, 1330.

Update: The Lakers will face Blake Griffin for the first time since he was traded from the Clippers to the Pistons. The Pistons are 33-40 and in ninth place in the Eastern Conference.

Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli