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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Lakers make no sense

Los Angeles Lakers can beat the best on any given day — Detroit, San Antonio, Miami — and lose to any mid-level squad, no matter their record or reasoning, regardless of the ensuing ridicule that awaits from fans after another clumsy loss.

You can get to that conclusion after watching the Seattle SuperSonics, an underwhelming group that had been 9-22 on the road, beat the Lakers, 120-113, killing any momentum brought home on the charter flight after Friday's victory in San Antonio.

It's fair to say that the defense was kind enough to allow seven SuperSonics to top their season scoring averages, and the Laker frontcourt took a hit as well, Chris Mihm leaving late in the match after sustaining a severely sprained right ankle. X-rays were negative, but he will be sidelined indefinitely, quite possibly a few weeks, according to a Laker official.

There were other troubles, other holes left unpatched as the Lakers failed to gain Western Conference ground on sixth-place Memphis.

In fact, Kobe Bryant was out-fenced by old rival Ray Allen, scoring only 22 points in an eight-for-29 shooting effort. He was irascible and angry during the game, dressed quickly when it was over and left without speaking to reporters for the first time this season.

In the final minute, kobe missed an off-balance three-point attempt on an inbounds play and, after tracking the rebound, missed an open three-pointer from the right side, unable to get the Lakers closer than 119-113.

Six seconds later, another Bryant three-point attempt missed everything but the bottom of the backboard.

In a sad move, Mihm writhed on the court after appearing to come down on Rashard Lewis' foot with 48 seconds to play. Mihm was helped into the locker room by Ronny Turiaf and Andrew Bynum.

A Laker official later compared the severity of the injury to the sprained ankle that cost Bryant a month last season.