Maybe it’s not a surprise for the coach who reached 900 wins faster than anyone in NBA history, but Phil Jackson arrived at Staples Center for Thursday night’s game having been a part of only two five-game losing streaks in all his years of coaching. Make that three five-game losing streaks and an agonizing weekend of soul-searching for the Lakers, who faltered once again down the stretch and lost 114-108 to the Cleveland Cavaliers in their final game before the All-Star break. “I think that I saw players that had quit in their eyes tonight,” Jackson said, “and that bothered me. I thought I saw guys that felt defeated when I kind of got after them about their defense or about playing with urgency. “They just had a vacant look, and really that bothers me about this team. I think they’ve got to come back with a renewed spirit.” The Lakers went into a timeout leading 101-100 with 3:25 left, but couldn’t close out the game, keep the Cavaliers off the foul line or grab another key rebound late. That was enough for Cleveland, which finished the game on a 14-7 run. So went the second showdown of the week between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. James finished with 38 points while Bryant led the Lakers with 34 points, but the difference came at the foul line in the 2-hour, 52-minute game. The Cavaliers made one fewer free throw than the Lakers shot as a team, going 41 of 55 from the line. Cleveland shot 18 free throws to six for the Lakers in the fourth quarter, and finished the game with five straight trips to the line, hitting 9 of 10 free throws. “We couldn’t seem to stop the basketball,” Jackson said. “When a team shoots 55 free throws, let alone on your home court, they’re just taking the ball right to you, and we had no answer for that.” Jackson had suffered only two previous five-game losing streaks in 16 seasons as an NBA coach. One came with the 1993-94 Chicago Bulls and one last season with the Lakers, although Bryant served an NBA suspension in two of those five losses. Each of the Lakers’ three previous losses was decided late in the fourth quarter, and Thursday was no different. The Lakers came out of the timeout with 3:25 left and lost their lead in a matter of moments. James hit a 15-foot fadeaway over Bryant, then stole a Bryant pass at the other end. When Lamar Odom went to double-team James, the Cavaliers moved the ball and Sasha Pavlovic knocked down an open 3-pointer. The Cavaliers led 105-101 and stayed in front as Eric Snow drove past Smush Parker and twice got to the line. He fouled out Andrew Bynum with his first drive and converted all four free throws. Bryant buried a 3-pointer off an inbounds play with 34.3 seconds remaining as the Lakers closed to 109-108. But James worked his way around a screen-and-roll and was fouled by Bryant with 20.1 seconds to play. He made the first of two free throws and missed the second, but the Lakers couldn’t grab the rebound, even though Jackson had brought Ronny Turiaf in for just that purpose. Turiaf and Bryant wound up knocking the ball to Anderson Varejao, who passed it back outside to James. It was d j vu for the Lakers. They were unable to rebound a missed free throw in Friday’s loss to Toronto and a missed 3-pointer in Tuesday’s loss to the Knicks. James was fouled and went back to the line with 11.7 seconds left. He sank both free throws and finished the game having made 10 of 16 shots and 18 of 22 free throws. The Lakers will take a 30-24 record into the All-Star break; they were 28-26 after 54 games last season. Even with two months left to play, the Lakers are settling into sixth place in the Western Conference standings. [email protected] (818) 713-3610 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! This wasn’t a microcosm of the Lakers’ season, which started fast but turned sour after injuries to Kwame Brown and Luke Walton, but a reflection of their current problems. The Lakers are 4-11 in their past 15 games and have lost four consecutive home games.