Communication is good.

Health would be better.

Defense would be best.

The Lakers lost again Wednesday night, falling to the Memphis Grizzlies, 106-93.

"Just another chapter in a difficult season," Steve Nash said.

The Lakers took another injury hit with Dwight Howard aggravating the labrum injury to his right shoulder a couple minutes before halftime. Unlike last time he hurt it and the pain faded, Howard said after the game: "It still hurts." Howard has been doing exercises to strengthen the shoulder and protect against aggravation, but it happened anyway and he will be evaluated by a specialist Thursday.

Howard's absence contributed to the Lakers' seventh consecutive road loss, and they haven't won a road game in more than a month. The unity that they hoped would come from a team meeting earlier in the day was blown away by another wave of defensive breakdowns after sundown. They now have lost 10 of their past 12 overall to drop to 17-25.

Memphis took control of the game early in the second quarter when Howard and Pau Gasol were on the court together — the pairing Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni has been trying to avoid — with poor guard play from Chris Duhon and Darius Morris.

Notorious slow starters in games this season, the Lakers stopped Memphis' offense seven consecutive times to start the game. Howard was exactly the floor-covering defensive dynamo the Lakers have needed.