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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Sunday, November 22nd (All times eastern)

Oklahoma City Thunder (7-6) at Los Angeles Lakers (9-3), 9:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Pau Gasol aims to build on an impressive season debut tonight when his Los Angeles Lakers play host to the much-improved Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center.

Gasol, who missed the first 11 games of the year with a strained right hamstring, was brilliant in his coming out party on Thursday, scoring 24 points and pulling down 13 rebounds, as the Lakers ran past the Chicago Bulls, 108-93, at Staples Center.

Gasol shot 9-of-15 from the floor as Los Angeles won its second in a row.

"I had a lot of fun playing again," said Gasol. "It was a pleasure. I wasn't expecting to be as effective as I was tonight. I'm a little sore, but I'm happy."

Kobe Bryant contributed 21 points, nine rebounds and eight assists and also moved into second-place on the Los Angeles Lakers' franchise all-time scoring list in the game. Bryant has 24,182 points, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (24,176) into second place. Jerry West (25,192) is in first place.

The Thunder, meanwhile, continue to impress. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 35 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out six assists on Friday, as Oklahoma City earned a 127-108 win over the Washington Wizards at the Ford Center.

Russell Westbrook chipped in with 26 points and seven assists, while rookie James Harden added 25 points off the bench for Oklahoma City, which was able to regroup after suffering a 108-94 setback at Orlando on Wednesday.

Jeff Green contributed with 19 points and 14 boards, and Thabo Sefolosha netted 16. The Thunder have won four of their last six overall.

The Lakers have won 10 straight and 12 of their last 13 games against the Thunder franchise, including a 101-98 triumph in Oklahoma City earlier this month.

The Thunder are a solid 4-3 as the road team on the season but the Lakers, who are just one-half game behind Phoenix in the Pacific Division, are 7-2 as the host.

11/22 10:33:01 ET

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