NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, December 12th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (16-7) at New Jersey Nets (6-17), 1 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers will try to pick themselves up again when they continue a seven-game road trip today against the New Jersey Nets from the Prudential Center.
The Lakers had dropped a season-high four straight games before going on a three-game winning streak, then fell back into the loss column with Friday's 88-84 defeat in Chicago. Kobe Bryant had 23 points and seven assists for the Lakers, who had a season-low in points scored and fell to 1-1 on the trek.
Bryant (26,398) moved into 11th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list, passing John Havlicek (26,395). Pau Gasol added 21 points, eight boards and four blocks, while Lamar Odom contributed 18 points and eight rebounds in a losing effort. The Lakers were outscored, 24-10, in the second quarter.
"They made some tough ones there that kept the lead stretched," Bryant said of the Bulls. "We were trying to build a little momentum."
LA will also visit the Wizards, Pacers, Sixers and Raptors on the road swing, and is 6-5 as the guest this season. Guard Derek Fisher has played in 436 consecutive regular season games dating back to April 15, 2005 -- the longest streak among all active NBA players.
New Jersey has lost six in a row and eight of nine games, and will kick off a three-game homestand today versus the Lakers, 76ers and Wizards. It is 4-6 in Newark this season.
The Nets are coming off a 102-89 loss in Dallas on Thursday, as Brook Lopez led the way with 24 points and Anthony Morrow posted 21 in defeat. Nets coach Avery Johnson made his return to Big D, where he spent three-plus seasons as head coach.
"I was pretty emotional," said Johnson, who returned to coach against the Mavs in Dallas for the first time and saw his Nets stumble early.
Nets guard Devin Harris was sidelined the final three quarters with a shoulder injury against the Mavericks and is questionable for Sunday. He had four assists in 9:22 of action.
The Lakers won both games with the Nets a season ago and are unbeaten in the previous five matchups between the two clubs. New Jersey has dropped four in a row as the host in this series.
12/12 10:52:41 ET