The Los Angeles Lakers held a clear-the-air meeting Wednesday morning. This much was clear Wednesday night — they're still awful.

Their latest humiliation came in a 106-93 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, with the added caveat that Dwight Howard left in the second quarter after aggravating a shoulder injury at FedEx Forum.

Somehow, it seemed to be the least of the Lakers' concerns after a testy morning in which "guys went at each other a little bit," said a person who witnessed the meeting, which took place before the team's shoot-around.

Kobe Bryant acknowledged in front of teammates that he could be difficult to play with, and wondered aloud whether that was an issue for Howard. Howard's response was unclear, though he did not engage Bryant in nearly as vocal a manner as Bryant engaged him.

"He didn't go back at Kobe," said the person with knowledge of the meeting.

After Wednesday's game, Bryant wasn't sure whether his message got through to Howard.

"I don't know," he said curtly.

Does he hope it got through?

"No," he said sarcastically.

Of equal importance, is Howard bothered by the way Bryant plays?

"No, I'm not," Howard said while walking to the team bus. "It's something that . . . we've all got to learn how to play together."

Meanwhile, the Lakers (17-25) are firmly lodged in 12th place in the Western Conference, closer to the West's basement than the final playoff spot. They are four games behind eighth-place Portland and three games ahead of bottom-dwellers Phoenix and New Orleans.