If this season hasn't already been trying enough, the Los Angeles Lakers suffered another big blow entering this week.
The slumping Lakers won't have frontcourt players Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill for a difficult two-game road trip that begins Tuesday night against the Houston Rockets, who will seek a season high-tying fifth straight win.
Los Angeles entered this season as one of the favorites for the franchise's third title in five seasons, but the Lakers (15-18) and their new players have never seemed to click. The team got to .500 after a five-game win streak last month but is 1-4 in its last five and is one shy of tying its season-high four-game skid from Dec. 7-13.
Los Angeles' chances of ending that losing streak don't appear promising with its recent injuries.
Howard, a six-time All-Star acquired from Orlando in the offseason, tore the labrum in his right shoulder Friday against the Los Angeles Clippers and re-aggravated it while matching a career high with 2...