Kobe Bryant drives to the basket as Detroit's Jason Maxiell defends… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)
The Lakers got through a mostly successful Week 14, with a single misstep in four games.
On Tuesday, the Lakers let a big lead get away but closed well at home, beating the New Orleans Hornets, 111-106.
Kobe Bryant continued to make play-making his priority over scoring, and suggested that if he was a point guard, he'd be the best.
Pau Gasol made it clear that he was frustrated coming off the bench and sitting out in crunch time against the Hornets. Fellow Spaniard Ricky Rubio of the Minnesota Timberwolves spoke out on Gasol's behalf.
"If they don't want him, we are more than welcome to get him," Rubio said.
The Lakers' three-game winning streak came to an end on Wednesday as they fell to the Suns, 92-86, in Phoenix. Once again, the Lakers had a sizable lead, but this time they couldn't hold on to it.
Dwight Howard left the game against the Suns early after re-aggravating his injured right shoulder.
With the loss, the Lakers let another opportunity slip away, failing to gain ground on teams such as the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers in their quest to make the playoffs.
Howard would sit out Friday's game against the Timberwolves, flying back to Los Angeles for a nonsurgical PRP procedure.
The Lakers' 111-100 victory over Minnesota was the team's first road victory in 2013, snapping an eight-game road losing streak.
Gasol came up big against the Wolves, followed by another strong performance on Sunday morning against the Pistons in Detroit. With Howard still sidelined, Gasol got a second straight start at center.
The Lakers let an 18-point lead slip away -- a recurring theme this season -- but held on to win, 98-97.
Earl Clark continued to impress in a starting role, earning Bryant's trust and hitting three-point shots with surprising accuracy.
The Lakers finished the week at 22-26, still 3 1/2 games behind the eighth-place Rockets.
Jordan Hill made a visit to Staples Center, just days after hip surgery. He'll be out for six months.
The Lakers received a $1.78-million disabled player exception for Hill, which gives General Manager Mitch Kupchak an additional tool with which to improve the roster.
The exception can also be used to bring in a player making up to $1.88 million, but the rules specify that such a player must be in the final year of his contract. The list of available players is quite short. Martell Webster, of the Washington Wizards, stands out as a potential fit (if available).
In other news, Metta World Peace is developing a hidden camera show called "Metta World Pranks."
Howard's new "D Howard Light" footwear collection recently became available. He'll wear the signature shoe in Houston during the All-Star Game.
Finally, the son of former Lakers guard Nick Van Exel, Nickey Maxwell Van Exel, was sentenced to 60 years in prison on a murder conviction.
Preview: Lakers at Detroit Pistons
Dwight Howard will not play against Detroit
Lakers top the Timberwolves for first road win of 2013
Email Eric Pincus at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.