Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, looks for a way past Detroit's Rodney… (Jeff Kowalsky / EPA )
Kobe Bryant switched back and forth with new protective devices for his face.
The Lakers, meanwhile, were completely unmasked.
Whatever gratitude they earned with their victory against Miami was whisked away with an 88-85 overtime loss Tuesday to the Detroit Pistons at the Palace.
Bryant couldn't find his shot, Metta World Peace returned to Earth and the Lakers' reserves uncorked their worst game yet.
A not-so-subtle reminder: The trade deadline is March 15.
Another not-so-subtle reminder: The Lakers (23-15) are awful on the road, now 6-13.
Bryant blamed his woeful eight-for-26 shooting night on fatigue related to the whiplash injury and concussion he suffered in the All-Star game.
He played with incredible efficiency in his first three games after a hard foul from Dwyane Wade that also caused a broken nose.
But he disintegrated Tuesday after ditching the clear mask he had been wearing for a black mask with smaller dimensions. He missed five of his first six shots and traded the black mask for an equally small clear version.
Nothing helped. His one solid moment, a 19-footer that sent the game to overtime with the score tied at 78-78, was quickly forgotten after he missed all three of his overtime attempts. He finished with 22 points.
"Everybody just kind of played tired," Bryant said. "I definitely was a little tired. I should have stayed in bed like I've been doing instead of coming to shoot-around [Tuesday] morning."
Despite playing seamlessly with the original larger clear mask, averaging 34 points and shooting 54.3% over the three games, Bryant complained about it, saying it steamed up on the inside and created a sauna-like condition.
Thus, the two new masks Tuesday, neither of which seemed to his liking.
"We tried to change it up a little bit," he said. "What we tried tonight didn't work because it just kept sliding all over the place."
Bryant's inaccuracy was glaring compared to the success of the Lakers' post players. Andrew Bynum had a season-high 30 points on 13-for-18 shooting. Pau Gasol had 20 points on eight-for-14 shooting.
The Lakers' ball movement wasn't as crisp as it was while they were winning eight of their previous 10.
"We just didn't have a good flow today," Gasol said.
That, and Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey flowed through the Lakers over and over for 34 points on 13-for-20 shooting.
And the Lakers' reserves were outscored by those of the Pistons, 32-7.
And the Lakers made three of 22 three-point attempts, Bryant making two of nine and World Peace missing all five of his attempts.
Still, the Lakers had a chance to send the game to a second overtime.
After receiving an inbounds pass from the side with six seconds left, Bryant air-balled a three-point shot that he hoisted surprisingly quickly because, he said, he thought he was going to be fouled.
Troy Murphy took the rebound with 1.9 seconds left and World Peace, the catalyst in the Lakers' win over Miami, missed a rushed turn-around three-pointer as time expired. He finished with four points on two-for-nine shooting.
The Lakers continue their three-game trip Wednesday in Washington and conclude it Friday in Minnesota.
"It just hurts because we were in a prime position to win these three games and move up probably in the standings," Bynum said. "We were going to chase [second-place] San Antonio, man. That was our mission. We failed."