NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, December 29th (All times eastern)
Golden State Warriors (9-21) at Los Angeles Lakers (24-6), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Lakers hope to avoid a second straight loss at Staples Center tonight when they host the resurgent Golden State Warriors.
The reigning NBA champs have been struggling a bit recently sandwiching a pair of 15-point losses around a double overtime win in Sacramento. On Monday night in Phoenix, Amare Stoudemire was 11-of-17 from the floor and scored 26 points to lead the Suns to a sound 118-103 defeat of their division rivals, the Lakers.
Kobe Bryant poured in 34 points on 14-of-26 shooting for LA, which also suffered a 15-point loss on Christmas Day to Cleveland the last time they played at Staples Center. That loss stopped a 11-game home winning streak by the Lakers, who haven't lost consecutive tilts on their home floor since March 23-28, 2008.
Andrew Bynum chipped in 14 points and nine rebounds vs. the Suns, while Pau Gasol scored 13 for Los Angeles, which had claimed eight of the previous 10 matchups from Phoenix.
"They played much better than we did in a nutshell. That's all it was. They executed very well in transition, we didn't get back and it gave them a lot of easy opportunities and that broke the game open," said Bryant. "It was just execution. We just beat the (expletive) out of them the first two times and they returned the favor."
On the injury front the Lakers could get a boost tonight with the return of swingman Ron Artest, who missed the previous two games after suffering a concussion and injuring his left elbow during a fall at his home on Christmas night.
The Warriors, meanwhile, put together their second consecutive impressive upset last night when Monta Ellis scored 37 points on 15-of-26 shooting, and Golden State completed a rare comeback against the Celtics, responding from an 18-point deficit to post a 103-99 win at Oracle Arena.
Anthony Randolph added 18 points and nine rebounds for the Warriors, who were coming off a win over Phoenix and ended Boston's 88-game win streak when leading by at least 16 points in a contest. Anthony Morrow and Corey Maggette had 13 points apiece, and CJ Watson contributed with 11 points.
Center Andris Biedrins returned from a right groin injury and played for the first time since Nov. 8 but did not score.
"He's really being a true leader now, especially when we need points. He's ready to take the responsibility and take some tough shots like he did today. It was unbelievable what he did," Biedrins said of Ellis.
Overall the Lakers have won six straight over Golden State and 27 of the last 30 contests between the two teams in LA.
12/29 10:40:02 ET