Don't pound that last nail into the Purple-and-Gold coffin just yet. The Lakers emerged victorious from their first trip to the Barclays Center, despite a litany of absences and setbacks that'd make for a solid All-Star squad.
Dwight Howard missed his third straight with a partially torn labrum in his shoulder. Metta World Peace was banned for his fisticuffs with Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Knight. Kobe Bryant was dogged by a sprained elbow that also came by way of Knight. Pau Gasol left in the fourth quarter after aggravating the troublesome plantar fascia injury in his right foot.
It was no surprise, then, that the Brooklyn Nets pounded the Lakers on the boards—52-40 overall, 20-5 on the offensive end—or that Brook Lopez piled up 30 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks at L.A.'s expense.
What was surprising, though, was that the Lakers not only held their own, but might've also come away with their most encouraging result of the season. They led by as many as 13 points in the third quarter and scored the final 10 points of the game while the Nets crumbled down the stretch.
The final score, 92-83, says the Lakers are far from finished. They've won three in a row and six of their last seven, and would be 4-0 on this Grammy road trip if not for a fourth-quarter collapse against the Phoenix Suns.
But they won't know for certain whence their fortunes lay until Wednesday. Pau's due to undergo an MRI on his right foot to determine the extent of the damage. If it's torn, as is suspected, he could be out another six weeks, if not longer.
Couple that with Dwight's ongoing shoulder issues and Jordan Hill's season-ending hip injury, and that might be all she wrote on the Lakers' 2012-13 season.