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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, March 7th (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (21-41) at Denver Nuggets (26-34), 9 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Lakers won't have long to get past the humiliation of Thursday's loss to the Clippers as they travel to the Pepsi Center to take on the Denver Nuggets Friday night.
The Lakers suffered the most-lopsided loss in franchise history Thursday night when their co-tenants at Staples Center buried them 142-94 in front of a national television audience.
The Clippers, who routed the Lakers 123-87 on Jan. 11, held a 29-27 edge after a quarter of play, but outscored the Lakers 80-33 over the next two frames to turn the game into a laugher.
"We felt sorry for ourselves and let it get away. We did not compete the last three quarters," Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni said.
Pau Gasol tallied 21 points and seven rebounds for the Lakers, who have dropped five of their last seven tilts. Xavier Henry, who returned from a two- month injury absence on Monday, finished with 15 off the bench and Kent Bazemore added 14.
The Lakers allowed the Clippers to shoot 55.3 percent from the floor while shooting under 40 percent themselves.
With one more loss, the Lakers will be guaranteed their first losing season since the 2004-05 campaign when they went 34-48. Rudy Tomjanovich resigned during that season and Phil Jackson was back on the bench to start the next year.
Things won't get any easier for L.A. as it faces the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs in the next four games. They are the two best teams in the Western Conference.
The Nuggets snapped a six-game losing streak on Wednesday with a 115-110 home victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
Ty Lawson netted 17 of his 20 points in the first quarter and six Nuggets reached double figures. Wilson Chandler paced Denver with 21 points while J.J. Hickson, Kenneth Faried and Randy Foye all had 16 in the triumph. Darrell Arthur scored 10 points off the bench.
"It felt great to get the win. It's only one win, but I'll take it. Hopefully we can build on it and finish the season strong," said Hickson.
The Nuggets also put the brakes on a five-game home losing streak with the win on Wednesday. After Friday's tilt with the Lakers, Denver tours the southern part of the country with road contests against the New Orleans Pelicans, Charlotte Bobcats, Orlando Magic, Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks.
The Nuggets have won both meetings this season with the Lakers and five in a row in the series. The Lakers have lost three straight and four of their last five in Denver.
03/07 10:33:21 ET
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