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Lakers let another opportunity to gain ground slip away

January 31, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Houston guard James Harden
Houston guard James Harden (Rick Bowmer / Associated…)

The Lakers missed an opportunity on Wednesday night, losing to the Phoenix Suns, 92-86. Given their 20-26 record, the Lakers can't afford to miss many more.

The eighth-place Houston Rockets lost to the Denver Nuggets. The ninth-place Portland Trail Blazers were idle.

Instead of gaining a full game on the Rockets, the Lakers are still four back. A win would have brought the Lakers a half-game closer to the Blazers; instead they're now 3 1/2 games back.

The Utah Jazz won again, making the seventh seed that much more of a stretch (five full games out of reach).

It's looking more and more like the Lakers will climb no higher than eighth in the Western Conference ... if they make it to the postseason at all.

Their road trip continues on Friday in Minnesota, before stops in Detroit, Brooklyn, Boston, Charlotte and Miami.

Their recent three-game winning streak has kept them close but the Lakers cannot afford to fall apart over the next six.

ALSO:

Lakers winless on the road in January

Pau Gasol frustrated and challenged by benching

Watch Kobe Bryant suggest that if he were a PG, he'd be the best

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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