The Los Angeles Lakers will embark on a three-game road trip after pulling to .500 following a successful four-game stretch at home.
After falling to the Memphis Grizzlies 89-86 in the first of the four home games, the Lakers rebounded to win the next three to move to 7-7 on the season.
Through 14 games last season, the Lakers had an identical 7-7 record.
Entering Sunday, the Lakers had played the second-toughest schedule in the NBA and had yet to play an opponent who was in the second game of a back-to-back.
Of the Lakers’ 14 opponents, the Detroit Pistons and Sacramento Kings are the only teams with a sub .500 record.
The winning formula for the Lakers has remained consistent, get key contributions from the bench players, shoot well from 3-point land, and play scrappy defense.
It may be hard to believe, but a Mike D’Antoni coached team has posted four consecutive games of holding the opponent under 100 points.
Aiding the Lakers’ cause was a strange quirk in the scheduling that gave them four days off between games on Nov. 17 and Nov. 22.
Pau Gasol appeared to benefit most from the time off, averaging 22 points and 10 rebounds in the two games after the break.
Jordan Hill also continues to impress and he has his season averages up to 10.4 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game.
Kobe Bryant’s return to action is imminent, but his availability for the road trip remained unknown as of Sunday.
Without him, the Lakers have managed to remain around .500, which is key. While the team still struggles from inconsistency, they have shown resilience in being able to bounce back from multiple game losing streaks.
The Lakers have an excellent opportunity to improve their record with the upcoming road trip before returning home for a game against the surprising Portland Trail Blazers on Dec. 1.
Upcoming road trip
Tuesday, Nov. 26: Los Angeles Lakers @ Washington Wizards, 4:00 p.m. PST
Wednesday, Nov. 27: Los Angeles Lakers @ Brooklyn Nets, 4:30 p.m. PST
Friday, Nov. 29: Los Angeles Lakers @ Detroit Pistons, 4:30 p.m. PST