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Lakers' road woes continue with 102-90 loss to Suns

Kobe Bryant has 32 points, seven rebounds and five assists but commits 10 turnovers.

February 19, 2012|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Lakers point guard Derek Fisher tries to cut off a drive by Suns forward Grant Hill in the first half Sunday evening at US Airways Center in Phoenix.
Lakers point guard Derek Fisher tries to cut off a drive by Suns forward Grant… (Matt York / Associated Press )

Reporting from Phoenix -- The Lakers didn't play at Staples Center, so it was easy to predict what happened Sunday.

They lost to the Phoenix Suns, 102-90, trailing by as many as 27 points at US Airways Center and falling to 5-11 on the road.

Kobe Bryant's numbers looked good from afar (32 points, seven rebounds, five assists) but he committed an unsightly 10 turnovers and made only one of eight three-point attempts. Overall, he made 11 of 24 shots.

The turnovers were the second-most in Bryant's career, trailing only the 11 he logged in a January 2008 game against Detroit.

Perhaps the most telling stat for the Lakers' road woes: They are 0-10 on the road when trailing after three quarters. Not exactly a bundle of inspiration when they fall behind.

It was all disappointing to Coach Mike Brown, who warned the Lakers players beforehand about the need to win on the road.

"I told our ballclub that this is going to be an interesting game because this is a mental game right here," Brown said.

The Lakers flopped. They checked out mentally almost from the start, allowing the Suns to score a season-high 35 points in the first quarter.

"Nothing exciting or happy about this game," Brown said.

The Lakers (18-13) were beaten badly in fastbreak points, 21-6, and continued their ragged long-distance shooting, making three of 18 three-point shots (16.7%). They were tied for 27th in the league in the category before the game.

Bryant was annoyed in the third quarter, cursing as he went to the bench for a Lakers timeout. The Lakers trailed by 26 at the time.

"It's disappointing whenever you lose, whenever you're down 27 points and you have to try to climb up that hill," Bryant said. "We did a good job in the second half, but it was just too deep of a hole."

The Lakers beat the Suns without much hassle Friday, 111-99, but that was at Staples Center, of course.

Point guards Derek Fisher and Steve Blake combined for two points in 47 minutes Sunday. Metta World Peace had two points in almost 19 minutes.

The Lakers let Jared Dudley hit them for a season-high 25 points. Center Marcin Gortat added 21 points and 15 rebounds for the Suns (13-19).

Andrew Bynum had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers but played only nine minutes in the second half, replaced by Troy Murphy as the Lakers tried to shoot their way back into the game.

The road troubles are a worrying sign for the Lakers, particularly with back-to-back games this week against Dallas and Oklahoma City.

Before that, though, they play Portland on Monday at Staples Center.

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan

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