(Sports Network) - Legendary coach Phil Jackson said his team's recent loss in Charlotte was embarrassing. Maybe tonight he'll feel a bit better.
The Los Angeles Lakers haven't played like two-time defending champions and will try to polish off a seven-game road trip on a more uplifting note in Cleveland.
Jackson's squad won the first four games off the Grammy Awards trip before losing back-to-back contests in Orlando and Charlotte. In Monday's 109-89 setback to the Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena, a weary Kobe Bryant, who was battling an illness, was held to only 20 points. He missed 11 of his first 16 shots and went to the foul line only four times, making three free throws.
Pau Gasol ended with 17 points and 10 rebounds for his 30th double-double, while Ron Artest was the only other scorer in double figures with 10 points. The Lakers made 44 percent from the field and committed 12 turnovers for 14 Charlotte points. The 20-point loss was their biggest of the 2010-11 campaign.
"Everything we do is obviously going to be compared to what we've done the last two seasons," said Lakers veteran guard Derek Fisher, who extended the NBA's longest active consecutive games played streak to 469. "But this is an entirely different team. Half of our roster is new, so there are still things we're learning about ourselves."
The Lakers are 19-10 as the visitor this season and have lost eight of the past 10 meetings with Charlotte.
Cleveland can only hope another lengthy losing streak is not on the horizon, as it resumes an eight-game homestand Wednesday. After finally putting the clamps on an NBA-worst 26-game losing streak with a win over the Los Angeles Clippers last Friday, the Cavs dropped a 115-100 decision to Washington two days later. It was Washington's first road win of the season (1-25).
Antawn Jamison finished with 21 points and seven rebounds to pace the Cavaliers, who are 1-2 on the residency and 6-19 at Quicken Loans Arena this season. J.J. Hickson had 16 points and 13 rebounds, Ramon Sessions finished with 14 points and Jamario Moon netted 12 points in defeat.
Cavs first-year head coach Byron Scott was not pleased afterwards.
"First of all, just like I told the guys, I am still trying to figure them out because to me that was ridiculous," Scott said. "Effort wise I thought it just was not there. In the beginning of the game it did not look like it was there. It looked like we were just sleepwalking through it. In the second half, we tried to put it together and come back, but it was not there, period."
Jamison is averaging 24.8 points and 7.0 rebounds in his last 10 home games. The Cavs are winless in their last 14 games against Eastern Conference foes and own just a 2-19 record in matchups with teams from the West. Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson exited the Wizards game in the second quarter with a left quad strain, and is doubtful for tonight. The Cavs will also host the Rockets, Knicks, Sixers and Spurs on the homestand.
Los Angeles won the first of two meetings with Cleveland by a 112-57 score on Jan. 11 at Staples Center, where Gasol led a balanced attack with 13 points and 14 rebounds. The Lakers established a franchise regular-season record for fewest points scored by an opponent in a game. The previous mark was set on March 12, 2002, when LA held Charlotte to 66 points.
Thanks in large part to LeBron James, the Cavs are still 7-3 in the last 10 contests in this series. James, of course, is in Miami now. The Lakers have lost five of six and six of their last eight at the "Q".