The Los Angeles Lakers, riding a rare winning streak, still can't seem to avoid drama. This is LA, after all.

This time forward Pau Gasol expressed his displeasure at being benched in the fourth quarter (again), this time in the Lakers' 111-106 victory Tuesday night against the New Orleans Hornets.

In fact, ESPN Los Angeles reported, the Lakers might have lost some of the team cohesion built up over a three-game winning streak, especially as they prepare to embark on what looks like a make-or-break 12-day, seven-game road trip.

In what has become a recurring situation since Mike D'Antoni took over as Lakers coach, Gasol was benched for Earl Clark, and Gasol, a four-time All-Star, expressed his unhappiness afterward.

"I'm a competitor, I'm a guy that thinks I bring a lot to the table, and not being on the floor is something that I don't like, I don't appreciate," said Gasol, who previously has complained about being removed by D'Antoni in the fourth quarter.

Gasol, who has been the focus of much trade speculation heading toward the Feb. 21 deadline, finished with seven points, seven rebounds and seven assists in 21 minutes in the victory.