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LOS ANGELES – From the moment Julius Randle landed awkwardly in the opener, this was a season that never went as expected.
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Lakers fall to Kings, record for futility still possible

SACRAMENTO – Omri Casspi had 26 points, nine rebounds and six assists to help the Sacramento Kings beat the Lakers 102-92 on Monday night.
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LOS ANGELES – Maybe some were imagining what Dallas’ Rajon Rondo could do for the Lakers next year. Byron Scott is wondering who will play guard in the final two games of this season.
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DENVER – A quick offensive burst and strong defense helped the Denver Nuggets rout the tired Lakers.
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"This wasn’t about the Clippers beating the Lakers. Without Kobe Bryant in uniform, without Nick Young in uniform, the guys in purple and gold – actually, their Sunday whites – were hardly the Lakers. This was about the Clippers getting a 106-78 win over a team they should beat."

Read the full game story by the Register's Dan Woike.

LOS ANGELES – When Doc Rivers called his basketball team “very professional,” he may as well have been describing hit men.
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"On an important night for both teams’ draft futures, the Lakers rallied from a second-half deficit to beat the Philadelphia 76ers, 101-87, and snap a four-game losing streak."

LOS ANGELES – If one looked to the Staples Centers rafters after a rare Lakers victory, just a few stray streamers could be seen shooting downward, far from the usual celebratory downpour of shiny purple and gold that usually flies past the 16 championship banners.
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LOS ANGELES – Kobe Bryant wanted to make one thing clear – he’s not retiring before next season. In fact, he’s intent on giving it one more go-around even if his body objects.
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MIAMI – Dwyane Wade scored 25 points and added six assists, Hassan Whiteside grabbed 25 rebounds and the Miami Heat rallied to beat the Lakers 100-94 on Wednesday night.
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"I find myself craving more Kobe. I want him to become an NBA analyst. I’m certain he’d be excellent at it.

This mature, last-chapter version of Kobe is extremely articulate (check) and brutally honest (check). He possesses a uniquely analytical basketball mind (check) and isn’t afraid to speak it (check). He sees and knows the game on a deeper level than almost anyone currently sitting in that analyst chair (check)."

Kobe Bryant has been everywhere lately, except the basketball court.
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" As one of the busiest trade deadlines in memory passed, all was quiet around the Lakers.

Lacking assets to pull off a major move, and unwilling to compromise financial flexibility or sacrifice draft picks, the Lakers roster remained intact amid one of the worst seasons in franchise history."

EL SEGUNDO - As one of the busiest trade deadlines in memory passed, all was quiet around the Lakers.
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Lakers, Young limp into NBA All-Star break with another loss

PORTLAND, Ore. – After losing 15 of their last 16 games, the Lakers will limp into the All-Star break; most of them figuratively, Nick Young quite literally.
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"The Lakers wasted another overall solid effort Tuesday, losing 106-96 to a Denver Nuggets team that had been in no better shape than the Lakers.

What is happening late in games?"

Read the full story by the Register's Bill Oram:

LOS ANGELES – They have collected losses like matchbooks, but at least the Lakers have been entertaining.
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"Not only did Smith mentor Worthy, who won three titles with the Lakers, but also General Manager Mitch Kupchak, who won three titles as a player and was critically responsible for assembling teams that won five more."

James Worthy’s rookie season had just been cut short. He lay in a hospital bed in Inglewood, groggy and enduring the pain of a broken leg. He certainly hadn’t expected the injury, but even more so he didn’t expect to see the man who stood at the end of his bed.
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"As losses have piled up over the past two seasons – 93 of them now – there was always one person who could be relied on to prop up spirits.

That would be the ever-smiling, jubilant Nick Young.

But after a string of dismal shooting performances that have aligned with 13 losses in 14 games, the latest Sunday’s 120-105 thrashing at the hands of the dominant Cleveland Cavaliers, even that is gone.

...

“I’m just not playing with no joy out there,” Young said, after missing seven of his first eight shots, including five 3-pointers, before finishing with eight points. "

Full story by the Register's Bill Oram.

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CLEVELAND – As losses have piled up over the past two seasons – 93 of them now – there was always one person who could be relied on to prop up spirits.
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" The Lakers’ nine-day trip has been cut short for starting forward Jordan Hill, whose strained right quadriceps will be evaluated by team doctors Tuesday in Los Angeles. "

NEW YORK – The Lakers’ nine-day trip has been cut short for starting forward Jordan Hill, whose strained right quadriceps will be evaluated by team doctors Tuesday in Los Angeles.
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" Kobe Bryant is expected to be ready for the start of next season after undergoing surgery Wednesday to repair a torn right rotator cuff.

Each of Bryant’s past three seasons has now been ended by injury, muddling the 36-year-old superstar’s attempts to author a fitting conclusion to his Hall of Fame career."

Read the full story by the Register's Bill Oram:

EL SEGUNDO – Kobe Bryant is expected to be ready for the start of next season after undergoing surgery Wednesday to repair a torn right rotator cuff.
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Lakers lose ninth straight despite a strong start

LOS ANGELES – The night before a doctor would cut into Kobe Bryant’s right shoulder to perform the surgery that will end the superstar’s 19th NBA season, the remains of the team he left behind set forth to entertain a crowd of 18,997 – most of whom no doubt bought tickets with hopes of seeing Bryant…
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"It was part challenge, part promise and a 100 percent guarantee from someone who has seen Kobe Bryant defy the odds before.

“He’s going to prove all you doubters wrong,” Lakers center Carlos Boozer said Monday.

Even though he was on other teams, Boozer has seen Bryant overcome a torn Achilles’ tendon, broken fingers, a busted knee, plus various sprains and strains throughout his 19 years in the NBA. Now, he has a front-row seat as Bryant attempts to overcome his latest injur...y: a torn right rotator cuff."

Read the full story by the Register's Janis Carr:

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EL SEGUNDO – It was part challenge, part promise and a 100 percent guarantee from someone who has seen Kobe Bryant defy the odds before.“He’s going to prove all you doubters wrong,” Lakers center Carlos Boozer said Monday.Even though he was on other teams, Boozer has seen Bryant overcome a torn Achi…
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