Jack, Blazers hand slumping Lakers sixth straight defeatFeb 22, 2007 - 7:52 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Phil Jackson and Los Angeles Lakers are fading fast.
The injury-riddled Lakers dropped their sixth consecutive game, a 112-108 decision to the Portland Trail Blazers, who received 30 points from Jarrett Jack.
Superstar Kobe Bryant had 25 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Los Angeles (30-25), which has now lost 12 of its last 16 games.
"Our energy and effort and the intangibles on defense are lacking," Lakers forward Lamar Odom said. "We really expose each other as far as man defense is concerned because we are such a bad defensive team right now."
It is the longest losing streak of Jackson's historic 16-year career.
"I think we deserve it (losing six straight)," Jackson said. "We had a little bad luck with our injury situation, but we have not outplayed people, played harder than people. We have made mistakes in situations which I told them was a pattern to almost all our losses, which we can start to see starting to emerge.
"We don't consistently defend and we don't consistently rebound and that situation prevents runs and you know we play tit-for-tat in the course of the game and you can't do that and continually expect to win ballgames."
Los Angeles is still without starters Luke Walton (ankle), Kwame Brown (ankle) and key reserve Vladimir Radmanovic (shoulder).
In the fourth quarter, the Trail Blazers used a commanding 16-2 surge, capped by Roy's 13-foot jumper with 4:41 remaining, to build a 100-89 lead.
But Los Angeles made a late charge to pull within 100-96 as Odom and Bryant combined to score seven straight points with 2:59 left to play.
However, Jack and Zach Randolph both sank a pair free throws before rookie LaMarcus Aldridge drained a jumper in the lane with 51 seconds left for a 106-98 edge.
Randolph had 22 points and nine rebounds and Aldridge tied a season high with 18 points for Portland, which has won both meetings against Los Angeles this season.
"It's a huge win on the road, 2-0 coming out of the All-Star break," Blazers forward Ime Udoke said. "It's a good start to our second half. We took them out of their comfort zone, played physical and took advantage of everyone playing great."
There are several rumors floating around that the Lakers might be seeking a trade for New Jersey Nets' Jason Kidd prior to Thursday's 3 p.m. (EST) trading deadline.
"It's a business. That's what helped me when I went through it a little bit," Bryant said. "If the team has an opportunity to move a player to make themselves better, they are going to do it. You have to come to that realization and deal with it. You have to understand it's nothing personal and try and play your game."
"I haven't been paying attention to the trade rumors or what is going on," Lakers guard Smush Parker said. "I don't know what is going on."
LA LAKERS 108 FINAL
Feb 22 1:02 AM
LA LAKERS 80 END, 3RD QTR
Feb 22 12:21 AM
LA LAKERS 54 HALFTIME
Feb 21 11:36 PM
LA LAKERS 30 END, 1ST QTR
Feb 21 11:05 PM
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