Lakers guard Steve Nash scored 19 points on six-of-17 shooting against… (Ross D. Franklin / Associated…)
The Lakers ran out of gas Monday night in their second of two back-to-back games, falling to the Suns, 99-76, in Phoenix.
Good news for the Lakers: The Utah Jazz fell at home to a depleted New York Knicks team (90-83). Even in defeat, the Lakers maintain a one-game advantage over the Jazz.
With the Lakers off until Friday, they're guaranteed to gain a half game on either the seventh-place Houston Rockets or ninth-place Jazz. The two meet in Houston on Wednesday.
The Lakers are now three games behind the sixth-place Golden State Warriors and one behind the Rockets.
The team is hoping to get both Pau Gasol (foot) and Kobe Bryant (ankle) back in the lineup, perhaps as early as their Friday battle at Staples Center against the Washington Wizards.
The Rockets and Jazz also play the 51-16 San Antonio Spurs before the end of the week. The Lakers get the weekend off.
In a recurring trend this season, the Lakers seem to make up the most ground on their rivals when they don't play. Given how many off nights the Lakers have, this may be their best week of the season.
Lakers scorched by the Suns, 99-76
Pau Gasol says his foot soreness expected, not sure about return
Kobe Bryant is out Monday against the Phoenix Suns
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