Lakers resume long road trip in Brooklyn

The Los Angeles Lakers continue their Grammy road trip on Tuesday night when they visit the Barclays Center to take on the Brooklyn Nets.

With the Grammy awards at the Staples Center on Sunday night, the Lakers are in the midst of a seven-game road odyssey. Tuesday night will be the fourth game on the trek and the Lakers are 2-1 thus far.

The Lakers have won their last two on the trip and coincidentally or not, both victories came with Dwight Howard out of the lineup. His bum shoulder is acting up and he missed victories over the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons.

Howard announced he will miss Tuesday's game. Metta World Peace was suspended by the NBA one game for an altercation with Brandon Knight against the Pistons on Sunday.

In Howard's absence, Pau Gasol returned to the starting lineup. He is averaging 22.5 ppg and 11 rpg.

In their 98-97 victory Sunday over the Pistons, Kobe Bryant converted a three- point play with a minute left, then the Lakers hung on despite several missed free-throws and a few golden opportunities squandered by the Pistons.

"These are playoff games for us and I think it feels like it and sometimes weird stuff happens in the playoffs," said Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni. "Obviously we have to do a better job of protecting leads and play like we played when we get the leads."

The Lakers have won five of their last six and still have trips to Boston, Charlotte and Miami on this trip.

The Nets have won two of their last three, all at home. Tuesday's tilt with L.A. will end a four-game homestand, then it's two in a row on the road for Brooklyn.

After a home loss Thursday to the defending champion Heat, the Nets came back out the next night with a 93-89 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Newly minted All Star Brook Lopez led the way against the Bulls with 20 points. Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, MarShon Brooks and Andray Blatche all scored in double figures.

With three days between games, the Nets had plenty of time for practice.

"We were able to get in a good practice today, where guys really competed and we got a chance to do some Nets things," Carlesimo said after Sunday's practice. "Tomorrow, we've got to focus on L.A. But today was just a clean up of a lot of our own stuff, things we haven't had the chance to work on in a long time. When you have three days between games, it's almost the perfect scenario: you can take one off, work one on your stuff and then you can get ready for the next game."

The Nets, who are 3 1/2 behind the New York Knicks in the Atlantic Division, have lost nine in a row to L.A. and haven't won at home against the Lakers since Mar. 17, 2006.