217 games, 2 years, 1 month and 6 days. That’s how long it has been since the Los Angeles Lakers have lost three consecutive games. Not coincidentally, that streak coincides with the day that Pau Gasol began wearing a Purple and Gold uniform to work everyday.
The Pau streak came to an end today in Orlando with a 96-94 loss to the Magic. Not even Kobe Bryant’s clutch heroics were enough to deliver the Lake Show from putting up a goose egg on their three game road swing.
Zero wins and three losses with two close calls in the state of Florida and one worthless performance in North Carolina.
This is not the stuff of which champions are made.
Every team experiences their ups and downs during an 82-game schedule. But this has been the tight rope the Lakers have walked all season long. Take a few of those clutch Kobe moments away, toss in some better decisions by a few opponents and voila! You’ve got yourself a team that could easily be in the midst of that bar room brawl known as the playoff picture in the West.
The King of Clutch nearly delivered another miraculous moment as KB24 dropped 18 of his game high 34 in the final frame. As we’ve come to expect, Kobe shouldered the burden when the game was in the balance hitting big shots but never delivering the dagger. One foot on the three point line here and a missed jumper at the end of regulation there. The only Magic in Amway Arena was being coached by Porn Stash Van Gundy.
For the Lakers, the clock struck midnight back in Miami and the Cinderella comeback in Orlando was never to be.
Unfortunately the Lakers are going to have to rediscover their swagger on the fly. Of the final 11 games remaining in March, only three will be played in the Downtown Hoop Dojo.
One streak might have come to an end but the dry spell on the road is now at four straight and counting. For the sake of homecourt advantage, another four they cannot afford. In that case we could be looking at the genesis of the anti-Pau streak. Let’s hope it lasts nowhere near as long.