Bryant and the Lakers hope a return home will help them avoid both scenarios when they host the Dallas Mavericks.
Los Angeles lost 111-90 at Staples Center to Detroit last Friday, then began a three-game road trip with a 108-102 defeat to Toronto on Sunday.
The Lakers moved on to New York and lost 117-115 in overtime Monday before concluding the trip Wednesday with a 104-101 loss to Boston.
The four-game skid is Los Angeles’ first since Jan. 2-7 of last season, and the Lakers haven’t lost five straight since dropping the last 10 games of the 1993-94 season.
The slide has also dropped the Lakers back to .500 for the first time since they were 5-5 on Nov. 19. Los Angeles hasn’t been below .500 this late in a season since owning a 21-34 mark on March 4, 1994.
Just 30 minutes after settling a lawsuit filed by the woman who accused him of rape, Bryant scored 17 first-quarter points against Boston on Wednesday, but was scoreless in the fourth and missed a 3-pointer just before the buzzer.
Asked about the settlement following the game, Bryant wouldn’t comment and asked reporters for “basketball questions” only.
Bryant finished with 26 points, making nine of 24 shots, and afterward complained of a sore right ankle.
“When your ankle is stiff, it’s tough to get the lift you really want,” Bryant said. “Back in the day when I was a kid playing in the backyard, I never missed those.”
The Lakers will be looking to get back on track against a Dallas team that has beaten them three straight times, including a 110-93 Mavs win in Los Angeles on Dec. 12, 2003, that snapped their 26-game road losing streak in the series.
Dallas opened a three-game trip with a 101-92 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, its second defeat in three contests following a season-high six-game winning streak.
“We are not playing as well as we have been defensively,” Terry said. “We just have to get back to playing healthy and consistent defense every night.”
Dallas hasn’t won back-to-back road games against the Lakers since the 1983-84 season.
STANDINGS (through March 2): Mavericks - 2nd place, 5 1/2 GB, Southwest Division. Lakers - 3rd place, 14 1/2 GB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Mavericks - Nowitzki, 27.0 ppg and 10.0 rpg; Terry, 5.0 apg. Lakers - Bryant, 27.6 ppg and 6.6 apg; Odom, 10.4 rpg.
SEASON SERIES: Mavericks, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Jan. 5; Mavericks, 118-104. At Dallas, Terry was 9-of-10 on field goals, perfect on five 3-pointers and 5-of-6 on free throws en route to a season-high 28 points for the Mavs. Bryant scored 32 points for the Lakers, but was shut out until early in the second quarter when Los Angeles already trailed by 15.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mavericks - 19-8 on the road; Lakers - 19-11 at home.