"We're still in a playoff hunt because of the teams out there that are banged up,' Kupchak said. "I read the paper every day and it seems like another guy is going on the injured list. ... It is the only approach for this team to take.'
Kupchak also said that perhaps interim coach Frank Hamblen had gotten too caught up in the Lakers' seven-game losing streak when he accused the team of quitting in the second half of Thursday's 117-96 loss to the Nuggets.
"I know what the guys are going through,' Kupchak said. "When a team like Denver is playing well and we're not, and have lost a bunch of games in a row in our case, the perception is that you've given up. Our guys have not given up.
"But if you turned on the television and saw the second half of that game, you might think, 'Oh my gosh, they've quit.' They haven't. But they're not playing with the same energy and confidence of a team like Denver.'
"We kind of knew this was going to be a tough stretch for us with our schedule,' Kupchak said. "When you're not at full strength, all you can do is not get discouraged, stay together and just play as hard as you can and work your way through it.'
"It's a huge challenge,' Bryant said. "But you just take it a step at a time. When you're halfway up a mountain, you ain't going to stop, sit down on a rock. You're going to continue to climb it. We still have games to play, we're going to continue to climb the mountain and see where we go.'