The Lakers road struggles early in the season — as the team tried to figure out a new system without the benefit of training camp — were well pronounced, but in recent weeks, Mike Brown’s team seems to have figured something out.
In fact, L.A. has won six of its last seven games away from STAPLES Center:
The loss came at Houston when L.A. blew a 12-point lead with six minutes to play after playing a solid 3.5 quarters. Prior to the win at Minnesota, the Lakers also blew double-digit leads at Detroit and Washington, but controlled those games for the majority as well. Yet in general, the team’s play has been strong away from home, and has improved markedly on offense since the addition of Ramon Sessions.
All of this has brought the road record up to 12-15, still below what the team would like, but not too bad considering the 1-7 road start to the season, or the 6-14 mark before the recent string of success.
On the other hand, the team that for a while boasted NBA’s best home record, peaking at 19-2 thanks to a 10-game winning streak from Jan. 25 to March 18, has since played only .500 hoops at home, splitting eight games after a Friday loss to Houston.
Saturday evening’s game comes at Phoenix (28-27), the site of perhaps L.A.’s worst road performance of the season, a low-energy 102-90 loss on Feb. 19. The Suns lost Grant Hill, their best 1-on-1 defensive player, to injury and also come into the game off a loss, having fallen at Denver on Friday night.
Tip is at 7 p.m.; we’ll see you there.