DALLAS -- Reminded after the Los Angeles Lakers' latest, barely competitive loss of his team's daunting upcoming schedule, Mike D'Antoni joked he prefers to stay on the second floor of the team hotel.
"At least if I jump I'll just break an ankle," the coach said after his Lakers lost, 110-97, in Dallas, the first of 10 road games in the next 11 overall.
Fitting then, that Nick Young, bolstered his coach's macabre sense of humor by comparing the mood in the Lakers' locker room to that of a funeral.
"It's sad, man," he said. "It's like somebody died."
Pau Gasol, however, had a slightly different perspective. The last healthy tie to an era of winning basketball, Gasol said, "It feels good to survive."
But he wasn't talking about a 10-foot plunge into the rhododendrons, or this demoralizing stretch in which the Lakers have lost eight of nine games. For Gasol, who tallied 15 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists, the sentiment was more personal after Monday came and went and he was not traded.
"It felt like it was pretty much done at times," Gasol said of a trade that would have sent him to Cleveland for Andrew Bynum's contract and the accompanying salary-cap relief.
The angst was not quelled until the Cavs traded Bynum late Monday to Chicago for Luol Deng, giving Gasol a quick respite. Before that, he went about his business. Practicing Monday, packing his suitcase like normal, planning to take the team flight to Dallas.
The anxiety was at its peak, he said, Saturday, when an erroneous radio report said the deal had been completed.
Gasol was with his parents and younger brother at a production of "The Lion King" at the Pantages Theatre when, at intermission, he checked his Twitter.
"I was getting all these messages of, 'Farewell Pau,' 'Thanks for all your services,'" he said.
Needless to say, the night took a sour turn.
"Really good musical," Gasol said. "I enjoyed it. ... It was a nice family time, but that kind of affected a little bit the rest of the show."
The focus now for Gasol and the Lakers shifts to the rest of the season -- although the Feb. 20 trading deadline looms large -- and digging themselves out of their current slump.
It didn't happen Tuesday in Dallas. While some expected Gasol to be traded and for the Lakers to undergo significant changes, things remained exactly the same as over the past two weeks.
The Lakers committed 20 turnovers, played terrible defense and wilted in the fourth quarter.
When a local reporter told D'Antoni before the game that the Lakers were catching the Mavs, who had lost four in a row at home, at a good time, the Lakers' coach quipped, "I thought it was the other way around."
The Lakers were led by 24 points from Jodie Meeks and Wesley Johnson's 17.
Young, who had reached double figures in 20 straight games, was held to two points in 19 minutes. He said he is suffering from a sore back dating to a hard foul in Sunday's loss to Denver. He said he is unsure if he will play Wednesday in Houston, although it's hard to imagine him not trying to help pull the Lakers out of their slump.
"We ain't the same," Young said. "We got to get some kind of swag going and get happy again; see a rainbow."
While Gasol survived a long-anticipated deadline, Shawne Williams did not. The stretch power forward favored by D'Antoni was waived in a cost-saving move by the Lakers after their morning shootaround at American Airlines Center.
The move leaves the Lakers with 14 players.
"You do get attached to guys that you enjoy walking down an alley with," D'Antoni said. "He will fight for you in a heartbeat."
The Lakers' starting power forward on opening night, Williams never established a niche with the Lakers, not as the sweet shooting stretch four D'Antoni imagined, nor as an effective rebounder or defender.
In 32 games including 11 starts, Williams averaged 5.2 points and 4.5 rebounds. He shot just 32.7 percent on 3-pointers.
You always hear, 'It's a business, it's a business,'" said swingman Xavier Henry, one of three players whose contract became guaranteed at 5 p.m. Eastern. "But you don't get used to losing guys like that because it's so deep into the season it's like they're your brothers."
Dirk Nowitzki led all scorers with 27 points. ... In his third start with the Lakers, Kendall Marshall scored 16 points, but committed as many turnovers -- six -- as assists.
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