The Lakers (11-49) lost their eighth consecutive game, falling to the Memphis Grizzlies (34-23) on Friday night.
Here are five takeaways from the Lakers’ 112-95 loss to the Grizzlies at Staples Center.
1. D’Angelo Russell gave one of his better performances, leading the Lakers with 22 points while making six of his nine shots.
Russell attempted a career-best 12 free throws, making eight. He also scored 22 points against the Grizzlies in Memphis on Wednesday.
His shooting percentage was 43.7% from the field and 34.4% from three-point range in January; he’s hitting 45.9% and 46.2% in February, respectively.
2. The Lakers did win the fourth quarter, 24-22, but at that point, the game was long over. The big issue was the team’s porous defense through three quarters.
Including the team’s 128-119 loss on Wednesday, the Lakers gave up 30 points in six straight quarters. The Grizzlies are not known for having a high-powered offense, but they scored 36, 31, 30, 31, 32 and 35 over that stretch.
The Lakers finally held Memphis to just 23 in the third period, but never threatened in the second half. At that point, the Grizzlies were able to coast to the finish.
3. Jordan Clarkson struggled a bit against the Grizzlies, scoring just eight points on four-of-16 shooting. The second-year guard also missed all seven of three-point attempts.
The last time he was held to single digits was on Dec. 28, in a loss in Charlotte to the Hornets — scoring eight while missing 12 of 14 shot attempts.
Over the team’s next 27 games, Clarkson reached at least 10 points, including eight with 20 or more.
Even with the off night, Clarkson is averaging 17.8 points with 3.5 assists through games played in January, shooting 49.6% from the field and 45.8% from three-point range.
4. With Kobe Bryant sitting out to rest his shoulder, another long-time veteran stole the show. Vince Carter hit his first five three-point attempts, scoring a quick 15 points, to help give his Grizzlies what proved to be an insurmountable lead.
Carter finished with 19 points, with most of his damage to the Lakers done early.
The Lakers also gave up 21 points to P.J. Hairston, who hit five of nine behind the arc.
Memphis shot 40.6% from deep, hitting 13 of 32.
Meanwhile, the Lakers converted five of 23 (21.7%) from three-point range. Russell hit both of his attempts, but both Lou Williams and Nick Young each missed four of five.
5. The Lakers are still in last place in the West, better than just the Philadelphia 76ers (8-50).
The Lakers are 19 games behind the eighth-place Houston Rockets (29-29).
Looking ahead to the 2016 NBA draft lottery, the Lakers would have a 55.8% chance of a top-three pick in next June’s draft. If the Lakers fall below third in the lottery, Philadelphia will get the team’s pick as part of the Steve Nash trade, via the Suns.
If the Lakers climb a spot in the standings, their lottery odds for a top-three selection will dip to 46.9%. The closest teams ahead of the Lakers are the Phoenix Suns (14-44) and Brooklyn Nets (16-42).