(SportsNetwork.com) - After stunning the rival Clippers on opening night, the Los Angeles Lakers have been inconsistent with five losses in seven tries.
The Lakers try to find the win column Tuesday versus the New Orleans Pelicans at Staples Center and were hammered 113-90 by the Minnesota Timberwolves Sunday at home. Steve Blake and Jodie Meeks scored 19 and 16 points, respectively, while Pau Gasol added 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Los Angeles was down 47-23 after the first quarter and shot just 38 percent from the floor. The Lakers, who had a 22-game winning streak against the Timberwolves come to an end, later pulled within 14 points at the end of the third quarter.
"We came out soft," Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We just didn't have enough intensity on defense, and we paid for it."
Lakers veteran guard Steve Nash did not play in the second half and saw a back specialist Monday. The result wasn't good and Nash needs an epidural block to heal nerve root irritation. Nash will be out for a minimum of two weeks and will be re-evaluated in 10 days or so.
"I'm concerned," D'Antoni said. "He was struggling physically tonight. You could just see it on his face and that's why I took him out. We shut him down more or less. He was struggling."
The Lakers, of course, are still without future Hall of Fame guard Kobe Bryant, who continues to heal from offseason Achilles surgery. The Lakers are in the midst of playing six of seven games at home.
New Orleans will resume a three-game western trek and had a season-high two- game winning streak come to an end with Sunday's 101-94 loss to the upstart Phoenix Suns.
The Suns used a 15-6 run for a 95-85 lead and the Pelicans never threatened from there, falling to 3-4 on the season. The Pelicans, who have been competitive in every loss this season, were led by Jason Smith's 22 points and eight rebounds. Jrue Holiday and Anthony Morrow scored 16 points apiece and second-year phenom Anthony Davis added 14 and 12 rebounds.
Phoenix scored 19 points off 17 New Orleans turnovers and the visitors shot 44.3 percent from the floor. The Pelicans struggled from 3-point range, making 4-of-13 from beyond the arc.
"We just didn't have our best stuff tonight," Pelicans head coach Monty Williams said.
The Pelicans hope to bounce back in a hostile L.A. environment and will visit the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.
New Orleans may not have forward Tyreke Evans (ankle) Tuesday and he is questionable against the Lakers. So is forward Ryan Anderson (toe), who has yet to play this season. Anderson is a sharpshooter and averaged 16.2 points per game in 81 contests a season ago.
In a 96-85 win over the Lakers last Friday, the Pelicans were led by Davis' career-high 32 points. The former No. 1 pick had 12 rebounds and tied a career-high with six blocks for New Orleans, which ended an 11-game losing streak to the Lakers.
Los Angeles has still won 14 of the past 16 meetings in this series and is unbeaten in eight straight as the host. The Pelicans have lost 14 of 17 and 18 of their last 22 at the Lakers.