The Lakers have played 60 games this season, most of them at a high level, good enough for the best record in the NBA at 48-12.
But there has been some slippage in their play the last two games, losses on the road in Denver and Phoenix, and the Lakers' defense was lacking.
Lakers Coach Phil Jackson noted after practice Monday that the "guys are tired" from an intense, grueling season that eventually takes a toll on every team.
"It's just the sway and swing of the year," Jackson said. "My real problem with our performances the last two games was I thought teams outworked us. And that's something that you can't have."
The Lakers have 22 regular-season games left, enough time to collect themselves and find the resolve to push through the rest of the season.
"Obviously, fatigue is a factor during the season," said Pau Gasol, who was named the Western Conference's player of the month for February for helping the Lakers to a 11-2 record in that period, averaging 20.9 points on 58.6% shooting and 10.9 rebounds.
"At some point you notice it more than others. It's not an excuse, but you kind of feel it, everybody feels it. We can't afford any more slips. That's just the way it is."
The Lakers play only twice more this week, tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center and Friday night at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
That should help in allowing the Lakers the time to recover mentally and physically before they play 10 of their next 13 games on the road.
"We're going to need a rested team as we go through," Jackson said.
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