awayL.A. Times: Not that long ago, the Lakers were road worriers.

Their ventures away from Staples Center in the years after the Shaquille O’Neal trade were typically lose-lose propositions — lose sleep in an unfamiliar hotel and then lose the game.

They were 12-29 on the road in 2004-05, 18-23 the next season and 17-24 in 2006-07 before starting to turn the corner last season with a 27-14 mark.

This season changes everything, though. The Lakers are a league-best 20-6 on the road and within reach of the team-record 33-8 in 1971-72, a mark that actually breaks down to 31-7 on the road and 2-1 in neutral-site games.

The Lakers have already logged impressive victories at Boston and Cleveland, not to mention two wins in New Orleans.

They’re not celebrating their road prowess yet, especially after squeaking by Minnesota on Sunday, 111-108.But there’s a difference when they walk into opposing arenas, something that hasn’t been felt since they were winning championships earlier this decade.

“We seem to measure up on the road,” Coach Phil Jackson said. “We still have a lot of really tough road games ahead of us, so we’re not crowing right now about anything.”

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