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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, January 15th (All times eastern)

Los Angeles Clippers (17-20) at Los Angeles Lakers (30-9), 10:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Lakers hope a healthy Kobe Bryant and the possible return of Pau Gasol can keep them in the win column tonight, when they host their Staples Center co-tenants, the LA Clippers.

Bryant is hampered with a back ailment and a broken right index finger on his shooting hand, and scored just 10 points on 5-of-11 shooting in Wednesday's 100-95 road victory over the Dallas Mavericks. Andre Bynum posted 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Pacific Division-leading Lakers, who have won two of three games since a two-game slide.

"Tempo was very good, we controlled that," said Lakers head coach Phil Jackson. "(The Mavericks) pushed it a little bit in the third quarter, and I thought they were going to try and speed the game up, but we were able to match up."

Lamar Odom registered 18 points and 14 rebounds, while Ron Artest finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds in a winning effort. Los Angeles was able to avoid its fifth straight road loss and will also host the Orlando Magic on its current homestand. The defending champion Lakers are 21-3 as the host and hope to get Gasol back Friday after he missed his sixth straight game with a strained left hamstring. Both Gasol and Bryant are probable for tonight.

Meanwhile, the Clippers will wrap up a three-game road trip Friday and have lost six straight as the visitor. In a 108-94 setback at New Orleans on Wednesday, Baron Davis contributed 19 points and six assists for the Clippers, who fell to 5-12 as the guest this season and have dropped two in a row since a season-high four-game winning streak.

"Tonight we just didn't have a good game," Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We couldn't make outside shots and we were going for too many layups like we should have been. Making shots energizes players and we didn't get enough energy tonight."

Eric Gordon netted 11 points and Marcus Camby ended with a game-best 20 rebounds to go along with six points in a losing cause. Clippers big man Chris Kaman is nursing a sore back and has missed the past two games. Kaman, who is averaging 20.4 points and 9.4 rebounds this season, is listed as questionable for this evening's contest. The latest injury news for the Clips comes on the heels of learning that No. 1 overall pick Blake Griffin will be lost for the season with a broken kneecap.

The 2009-10 season series between the Lakers and Clippers is tied at a game apiece, but the defending champs have won 12 of the past 15 matchups between the Hollywood inhabitants.

01/15 10:37:13 ET


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