After falling to the Dallas Mavericks 123-104 Tuesday, the Lakers dipped to 2-3 on the season.
One of the bright spots so far this season has been the play of Xavier Henry, who joined the team for training camp with no guarantees.
Now Henry is the Lakers’ starting small forward and a link so far to the team’s success.
In the Lakers’ two wins, Henry shot 61.5% and 45.5% from the field. In the three losses, he shot 36.4%, 25% and -- while taking a knee to the forehead that required nine stitches -- 0-6 from the field against the San Antonio Spurs.
All told, Henry is shooting 54.2% shooting in victories and 24% in losses.
The 6-foot-6 guard/forward has also averaged 6.6 free-throw attempts a game, although he’s converted just 57.6% from the line.
While he scored just five against the Mavericks, he’s averaging 12.4 points a game while shooting 38.8% from the field overall.
The sample size is small but Henry has suddenly become one of the most important Lakers this season -- at least until Kobe Bryant returns fully from his Achilles’ injury.