The injury-plagued Los Angeles Lakers are on the verge of matching the longest home losing streak in club history.
They’ll get to face last-place Utah as they try to avoid that dubious feat, though the Jazz just beat the two-time defending NBA champs.
The Lakers look to avert a sixth consecutive home loss Tuesday night when they face the Jazz, losers in 20 of the last 25 road games in the series.
Article continues below ...
After posting back-to-back road wins over Cleveland and Philadelphia, the Lakers (18-33) opened a six-game homestand with Sunday’s 92-86 loss to Chicago.
Los Angeles has given up an average of 112.6 points during its five-game skid at Staples Center. The Lakers haven’t dropped six in a row on their own court since March 7-26, 1993, their longest single-season slide since the team moved to Los Angeles in 1960.
The starters were outscored 73-24 for the Lakers, who are 5-20 in its last 25. Chris Kaman had a season-high 27 points and 10 rebounds, and fellow reserve Kendall Marshall scored 13 to go along with 11 assists as the Lakers trimmed a 19-point deficit to four late in the fourth quarter.
"The most important thing is trying to win," said Kaman, who’s averaged 19.0 points in his last three games. "Obviously we’ve struggled lately and we’re trying to get on some kind of level ground where we can come out with some Ws.
"The injuries are what they are. … That’s the one thing you can’t control. When guys get injured, we just have to move forward without them the best we can."
Los Angeles is dealing with injuries to Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Jordan Farmar, Jodie Meeks, Nick Young and Xavier Henry. It’s uncertain whether 40-year-old Steve Nash will suit up after getting hit on the same leg he fractured last season.
"We just have to regroup and get ready for the next one," Marshall said. "(The Jazz) are a very big team, so we have to find a way to limit them inside."
Utah (17-33) had dropped four straight but bounced back to beat Miami 94-89 on Saturday. Marvin Williams, averaging 22.3 points in the last three games, had 23 and Richard Jefferson scored seven of his 14 in the fourth quarter.
"I can’t say enough about their focus and desire to help this young group grow. And their play has been great, gives us a chance to be competitive every night," coach Tyrone Corbin said of his veteran forwards.
"I’m just happy for our guys, coming out and responding, and showing what we can do if we stay focused as a group."
Gordon Hayward added 11 assists and nine boards as the Jazz held a 41-32 edge on the glass. Utah limited the Heat to 43.3 percent shooting, their fourth-lowest mark this season.
"That’s what’s frustrating, ’cause we know we can play like this," Hayward said. "We have to be able to get up for every single game, not just against the world champs. So hopefully we can build off this. … We just have to play like this every night."
Hayward has totaled 46 points in helping the Jazz split two meetings with the Lakers this season. Utah won 105-103 on Dec. 27 on Derrick Favors’ putback dunk with two seconds left before falling 110-99 in Los Angeles on Jan. 3.
Marshall had a career-high 20 points and 15 assists in the latest matchup.