The Lakers (15-16) have matched their worst start after 31 games since the 2002-03 season, when they began defense of their third straight NBA title with a 12-19 record.
Kobe Bryant, who shifted from shooting guard to small forward five games ago in coach Mike D'Antonio's redesigned rotation, led the Lakers with 36 points. Steve Nash added 12 points and 10 assists.
Down by nine with just under 3 minutes to play, the Lakers closed to 99-97 on Bryant's 3-pointer with 1:28 left. But Spencer Hawes responded with a 21-footer 16 seconds later and Holiday helped close it out on a driving dunk with 22.4 seconds on the clock.