INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- The Indiana Pacers will try to escape
the unfamiliarity of being below .500 when they host the Los
Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
Over the past 13 seasons, the Pacers have had just one losing
campaign. However, in the wake of injuries and off-court
controversy, they may be heading toward another, unless they can
find a way to reverse their current slide.
Tuesday's 84-79 loss to Washington was Indiana's sixth in a row,
putting the club one loss from matching its longest skid since
a 12-game losing streak in the 1988-89 season.
It also dropped the Pacers below .500 for the first time since
they were 29-30 on March 6, 2005.
Peja Stojakovic's first game with Indiana was a difficult one.
He led the Pacers with 17 points, but made just 1-of-6
3-pointers and got little support from his new teammates.
The rest of Indiana's starters combined for 20 points and the
club shot 36 percent (27-of-76) from the floor.
The Lakers had a much better result Sunday, getting 40 points
from Kobe Bryant in a 130-97 rout of the New York Knicks,
improving to 1-1 on a season-high seven-game road trip.
Bryant did most of his damage from the line as he made 23-of-26
free throws. Five others scored in double figures and Los
Angeles shot 57 percent (39-of-68) from the field to win for the
third time in four games.
Bryant had 45 points and five assists in the first meeting
between the teams on January 9, leading the Lakers to a 96-90
victory. In doing so, he became the first player since Wilt
Chamberlain in 1964 to reach the 40-point mark in four straight