While singer Adele was winning just about every major award at the Grammy’s at Staples Center on Sunday night, the Lakers were just arriving back in Los Angeles after an 11-day, 6-game road trip that concluded with a 94-92 victory in Toronto.
The resulting 3-3 record — with wins coming at Denver, Boston (OT) and in Canada, and losses occurring at Utah, Philadelphia and New York — brought L.A.’s record on what’s become known as the Grammy Trip to 25-11 since the team acquired Pau Gasol from Memphis in the 2007-08 campaign:
While head coach Mike Brown would have liked to have seen his team execute better down the stretch particularly in Philly, he said after the victory in Toronto* that considering the circumstances, he could live with a 3-3 mark. His team tallied more road wins than it had in its nine previous road contests (2-7), was in every game and continued to rank among league leaders in opponent field goal percentage behind generally solid defense.
*Where Kobe Bryant single-handedly executed down the stretch.
With the 3-3 trek, the Lakers return to Staples Center with a 16-12 overall record, good for fifth in the West, though just 2.5 games back of the second-place Clippers. They have just two games, both at home, in the next six days (vs. Atlanta on Tuesday and Phoenix on Friday), a good chance for legs to be rested.
The first game back from a long trip is often known as a “trap game,” due to a natural tendency to relax just by being in one’s own building, but Mike Brown held practice on Monday perhaps in part to keep the team’s focus before the Hawks game.
The schedule gets a bit more difficult subsequently, with road dates at Phoenix (2/19), Dallas (2/22) and Oklahoma City (2/23), and Portland at home (2/20).