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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, March 25th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Clippers (28-44) at Los Angeles Lakers (51-20), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers should be well rested after their marathon win over Phoenix and will get back to work tonight against their Staples Center co-inhabitants, the Los Angeles Clippers.
Kobe Bryant managed to score 42 points on a balky ankle and shoulder in Tuesday's 139-137 triple-OT win over the Suns, eclipsing the 40-point mark for the third time this season. He also added 12 rebounds and nine assists for the Pacific Division-champion Lakers, who have won five straight and improved to 13-1 since the All-Star break.
"We haven't played many overtimes this season," said Lakers forward Pau Gasol, who had 24 points and 13 rebounds. "This one was a tough one. I'm proud of our guys. [The Suns] put us in a tough position, and we came through."
Lamar Odom had a big night with a season-best 29 points and 16 boards, and Ron Artest chipped in 18 points, five boards and three steals in a winning effort. Odom's 55 minutes players were a career-high. The 55 minutes played are the most since Nick Van Exel logged 56 minutes versus Sacramento on March 3, 1995.
The Lakers are 4-0 on a seven-game residency, 26-8 as the host and will shoot for their eighth straight win at home. Andrew Bynum is expected to return to the floor tonight after serving a two-game suspension for a flagrant foul, penalty two call against Minnesota forward Michael Beasley back on March 18.
The Lakers are six games behind San Antonio for the top seed in the West with 11 to go and only a game in front of Dallas at the No. 2 slot.
Meanwhile, the Clippers completed a four-game homestand with a 2-2 mark and will stick around to play visitor against the rival Lakers. The Clippers posted their seventh win in 11 games this month with Wednesday's 127-119 double-overtime victory versus the Washington Wizards.
Blake Griffin had his first career triple-double with 33 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists, and tied Elton Brand's Los Angeles record of 55 double-doubles established during the 2001-02 season. Bob McAdoo holds the franchise record with 69 double-doubles set in 1974-75, when the franchise was formerly known as the Buffalo Braves.
"It means a lot," Griffin said of the personal milestone, "but the best part about it was getting the win."
Griffin is the first rookie to record a triple-double of at least 30-plus points, 15 or more rebounds and 10-plus assists since Jerry West did it on Feb. 26, 1961. He also halted his career-high double-double drought at seven games, and is third in the NBA in that category behind Kevin Love and Dwight Howard. Eric Gordon had 32 points and Chris Kaman contributed 28 points and 12 rebounds in the OT win over Washington.
The Clippers are just 8-27 as the visitor this season while center DeAndre Jordan is listed as doubtful for tonight's game with the Lakers due to a case of pneumonia. Jordan has missed two straight games. Kaman is averaging 24.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in his last two contests. Mo Williams had 17 points and 10 assists versus the Wizards, and is posting 16.5 points, 6.2 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 12 games with the Clips.
The Lakers have won two of three matchups with the Clippers this season and are 15-5 in the past 20 meetings between the teams. The Clippers are winless in seven straight as the guest in this series rivalry.
03/25 11:02:44 ET
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