The Lakers are back to their losing ways and Kobe Bryant is back to missing a slew of shots.
Bryant and the Lakers lost their way in the fourth quarter, watching the San Antonio Spurs build a 26-point lead during a 93-80 defeat on Friday night at Staples Center.
After starting the season on a five-game losing streak, the Lakers beat Charlotte on Sunday for their first win of the season.
But now the Lakers have lost three in a row, and it doesn’t get any easier for them.
They host the Golden State Warriors at home this Sunday.
Bryant exited the game with 6:51 left, his night done, his play nothing to brag about and something to forget.
He made only one of his 14 shots -- his worst shooting performance ever from the field -- to finish with nine points. He missed all five of his three-pointers.
Bryant made his first field goal with 10:59 left in the game after 10 misses in a row.
It was a turnaround in the post over Cory Joseph.
Bryant even tired a left-handed runner. It was an air ball.
Carlos Boozer led the Lakers with 19 points and eight rebounds.
The Spurs had five players score in double figures, led by Tim Duncan’s13 points and 11 rebounds.
Spurs 68, Lakers 57 (end of the third quarter)
It was bad enough that the Lakers got down by 15 points early in the third quarter.
What made it even worse for the Lakers was that Kobe Bryant’s shooting touch was failing him big time through three quarters.
Despite all that, the Lakers stayed within striking distance of the Spurs, trailing by 11 points entering the fourth quarter.
Bryant missed all 10 of his shots from the field through three quarters, including three three-pointers.
He was 0-for-six shooting from the field in the third quarter and had six points after making six of seven free throws.
The Lakers played better defense, holding the Spurs to 40.3% shooting through three quarters.
But the Lakers made only 33.3% of their shots through three quarters.
Spurs 47, Lakers 35 (halftime)
The Lakers actually played better defense in the second quarter, but that still didn’t stop them from trailing the Spurs by 12 points at the half.
The Lakers held the Spurs to 18 points in the second quarter, but the Lakers scored only 13 points in the quarter.
They were just three-for-17 shooting from the floor in the second quarter.
By the end of the first half, Kobe Bryant had missed all four of his field-goal attempts and had scored only three points, all on free throws in the first quarter.
The Lakers shot 31.6% from the field in the first half.
Carlos Boozer led the Lakers with eight points in the half, but they all came in the first quarter.
Spurs 29, Lakers 22 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers still aren’t playing much defense.
That’s why the Lakers trailed the San Antonio Spurs, 29-22, at the end of the first quarter Friday night at Staples Center.
The Lakers allowed the Spurs to make 50% of their shots in the first quarter, including four of six from three-point range.
If not for Kobe Bryant drawing a foul on Danny Green while shooting a three-pointer just before the first quarter ended, the Lakers could have been down by double digits.
But Bryant made all three of his free throws to keep the Lakers within seven points.
The Lakers had no answer for Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard in the first quarter.
Leonard had eight points, missing just one of his four shots. He also had four rebounds and one blocked shot.
The Lakers were without backup point guard Ronnie Price, who was suspended for one game by the NBA on Thursday because he hit New Orleans Pelicans guard Austin Rivers in the side of the head with his forearm during Wednesday night’s game in New Orleans.
And the Lakers were without backup guard Wayne Ellington, who will be out indefinitely after his father was shot and killed earlier this week.