LA Lakers coach Mike Brown is refusing to panic even though he has been heavily criticised by the team’s fans following his side’s disappointing start to the season.

The Lakers had lost their first three matches of the campaign, their worst start to a season since 1978, and fans who watch NBA online had grown increasingly restless, letting their frustrations at recent performances be well known.

However, they finally had something to cheer last weekend when they finally broke their duck, beating the Detroit Pistons 108-79 in their fourth match. Brown’s team had lost to the Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trailblazers and the LA Clippers before tasting victory against the Pistons.

Brown admits it was a relief to enjoy the winning feeling again, saying to NBA news reporters after the match: “Some may look at it as a relief, but I look at it as a good win because we needed a win.

“I feel really good about the direction we’re going. In the short term, it’s not pretty. It’s not fun right now. But I feel really confident with the group of guys that we have. It’s just going to take a little time for them to completely understand what’s going on.”

Former Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard impressed following his summer switch to Los Angeles, making 11 of 13 shots from the field and scoring 26 points with six rebounds and three blocked shots, while Kobe Bryant scored 15 points and added eight assists.

However, the Lakers look set to be without guard Steve Nash until the beginning of December because of a small fracture in his left leg.

Nash picked up the injury last week in the defeat to Portland. The Lakers initially thought the problem was a bruised shin, but an MRI exam a few days later revealed a non-displaced fracture in the head of Nash’s fibula.

Steve Blake replaced Nash for the victory against Detroit, while second-year point-guard Darius Morris was Blake’s primary back-up.

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