The Lakers have now lost six games in a row and, according to ESPN's Arash Markazi, dropped 12 games in a single month for the first time since 1964.
Matched up against the league's No. 28-ranked offense, the Lakers allowed the Bobcats to walk all over their ragged defense. Charlotte scored 31 points in both the first and second quarters, which set the tone for a wire-to-wire thrashing.
How bad is it at Staples Center? A kid wearing a Dwight Howard jersey was just chosen "Fan of the Game." #theydontsellkendallmarshalljerseys— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) February 1, 2014
On a night when the Lakers allowed the Bobcats to shoot 52 percent from the field, the Purple and Gold countered by knocking down 30 percent of their looks, including 23 percent of their threes.
"They just weren't ready to play, for whatever reason," head coach Mike D'Antoni said of his troops, according to Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding.
Pau Gasol, Center
No surprise here: Gasol was the center of all things offense for the Lakers against the Bobcats and operated as the focal point to the tune of 24 points (9-of-17 shooting) as well as nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
And by scoring 24 points, Gasol has now dropped at least 20 points in 10 consecutive games dating back to Jan. 14.
Early returns from Gasol were promising, as the Spaniard scored 12 first-half points on 5-of-8 shooting and was one of two Lakers players to finish the opening 24 minutes in double figures, but that was as good as things would get.
Defending the extremely efficient Jefferson was a whole different story entirely.
Despite moderate success against Charlotte's center early, the story quickly changed as the Bobcats tortured the Lakers down low from start to finish, scoring 34 points in the paint in the first half and 64 overall.
It's a familiar trope, but Gasol simply can't match his efforts on the offensive end with comparable ones on the other half of the floor.
Nick Young, Sixth Man
Nick Young entered Friday night having shot worse than 50 percent from the field in his previous five games while scoring fewer than 20 points in his past four contests.
The good news was that Young rediscovered a small, small bit of the scoring touch that has made him a viable Sixth Man of the Year candidate by racking up 21 points in 36 minutes.
Nick Young has missed 9 straight shots, including an open left-handed layup that was sandwiched by Jefferson hoops. CHA back up 12.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 1, 2014
Jodie Meeks, Shooting Guard
Prior to squaring off against the Bobcats, Jodie Meeks was averaging 18.9 points over 14 games in the month of January.
That productivity was somewhat sustained on a night when the Lakers' wings collectively struggled with their shots, as the three-point shootout hopeful totaled 19 points on 5-of-15 shooting (3-of-10 from three).
The real issue, though, was Meeks' inability to defend the stronger and more assertive Gerald Henderson, who seemingly found open looks easy to come by all night long. Henderson torched the Lakers by scoring 20 points on 9-of-19 shooting in the win.
With Meeks on the court, the Lakers were minus-17 on the evening.
Kendall Marshall, Point Guard
The NBA's leading three-point shooter prior to the loss, Kendall Marshall didn't have a particularly eventful outing on the offensive end, scoring 10 points on 5-of-11 shooting (0-of-3 from three) while dishing out a team-high 12 assists.
Marshall has dropped from his top spot in 3-point FG% in the NBA. Was at 47.3%, now 45.5% (which would be 4th).— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 1, 2014
In fact, the more interesting takeaway from Marshall's effort on Friday was that D'Antoni sought to stick him on the Bobcats' least threatening offensive player, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Can't recall the last time a team put a PG as young as Marshall on a guy like MKG to hide him on D. Do that w/ old guys not young ones.— Darius Soriano (@forumbluegold) February 1, 2014
Marshall also surrendered nine points to Bobcats third-string point guard Jannero Pargo in the first half on a tidy 4-of-5 shooting.
Despite all of the positive passing and scoring numbers Marshall has contributed during his brief stint as the Lakers' starting point guard, the former North Carolina Tar Heel continues to fail L.A. on the defensive end, where he's a complete liability. There's been no evidence to suggest otherwise.
Unfortunately, even with Steve Nash and Steve Blake's returns on the horizon, according to the Orange County Register's Bill Oram, the Lakers are stuck without a reliable defensive stopper at the point.
Wesley Johnson, Small Forward
It was all downhill for Wesley Johnson after he drilled a 20-foot jumper 4:30 into the first quarter.
As Lakers fans have come to expect, Johnson didn't do anything to separate himself in the jump shooting department, hitting on one of his five attempts while scoring a meager three points and securing five rebounds. An air ball from beyond the arc was part of that uninspiring package, too.
Ryan Kelly, Power Forward
After scoring two points on 1-of-4 shooting in 15 first-half minutes, Ryan Kelly was benched in favor of Jordan Hill to open the second half in order to combat Charlotte's size.
While it didn't really make a difference who was logging minutes alongside Gasol (they were all equally inept on the defensive end), D'Antoni's lineup switch spoke to the lack of confidence he had in the second-round pick to match up with Josh McRoberts.
That said, Kelly was one of five Lakers to finish in double figures, dropping 13 points (4-of-10 shooting, 1-of-4 from three), including a four-point play in the third quarter. Those second-half buckets saved his night.
In the first quarter, L.A.'s reserve big men were in a world of hurt as they attempted to defend Jefferson in Gasol's stead. That didn't go so well.
Al Jefferson went to work on Hill and Sacre as soon as Gasol checked out, finishing the 1st w/11 points & 6 boards to put CHA up 31-27.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 1, 2014
Without getting too detailed, the Lakers' second unit—which averaged 41.2 points per game (No. 2 overall) entering Friday night—was a major disappointment.
Outside of Young, scoring was hard to come by, and all reserves not nicknamed Swaggy P combined to tally 10 points, led by six and five rebounds from Robert Sacre.
The Lakers will have three days off before traveling to the Midwest for a showdown with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday.