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Lakers' Week 24 in review

April 14, 2014|By Eric Pincus
  • Lakers point guard Steve Nash, left, is congratulated by guard Jodie Meeks after moving into a tie for third place on the NBA's career assists list. Nash later took sole possession of third place on the list during the Lakers' 145-130 loss to the Houston Rockets.
Lakers point guard Steve Nash, left, is congratulated by guard Jodie Meeks… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

The Lakers limped through Week 24, dropping three more games to see their losing streak grow to seven.

Naturally, the week began with injury news: Xavier Henry was scheduled to undergo surgery to repair both his knee and his wrist, sidelining him for much of the off-season.

Kent Bazemore was also declared out for the remainder of season with a torn foot tendon.

In a rare on-court highlight, Steve Nash passed Mark Jackson on the NBA's all-time assists list, in a 145-130 loss to the Houston Rockets.

Though Nash was humble about the accomplishment, Coach Mike D'Antoni made sure the 40-year-old point guard got enough opportunities to pass Jackson.

Nash noted that the down year wasn't D'Antoni's fault and that not even John Wooden would have been able to help the Lakers.

Jordan Farmar returned from a groin injury, and while D'Antoni was happy to have Farmar and Nash back, Nash's nerve root issue may keep him out the rest of the season.

Steve Blake returned to Staples Center to visit his former team on Friday, and the Golden State Warriors proved too much for the Lakers, winning 112-95.

The week ended with a 102-90 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, witnessed courtside by Kansas center Joel Embiid, who recently declared for 2014 NBA draft.

The Lakers may be able to climb in the NBA draft lottery from sixth to as high as fourth, with the Boston Celtics on a two-game winning streak and the Utah Jazz just one win "ahead" of the Lakers.  Of course the actual lottery itself could jump the Lakers to a top-three pick -- or drop the franchise as low as three spaces to nine.

Duke's Jabari Parker has yet to declare for the draft. Kentucky freshman Julius Randle also hasn't made his intentions known.

Connecticut senior Shabazz Napier made his draft case, winning his second NCAA title with a win over Kentucky.

Before the game, former Wildcat Rex Chapman tweeted that Coach John Calipari is a "done deal" to the Lakers after this season. The Lakers quickly denied that, and Chapman later followed up with a radio interview, saying he expects Calipari to be at Kentucky next season.

To help sort out these issues, the Lakers gave General Manager Mitch Kupchak a multiyear contract extension.

One big question ahead is the status of impending free agent Pau Gasol, who hasn't shut door on returning to the Lakers next season.

It's a crucial time for the Lakers, who have occasionally struggled to sell out at Staples Center this season.

Finally, the D-Fenders fell in the D-League quarterfinals, in a two-game sweep by the Santa Cruz Warriors.

Email Eric Pincus at and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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