NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, November 28th (All times eastern)
Indiana Pacers (7-7) at Los Angeles Lakers (13-3), 9:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Coming off just their third loss of the 2010-11 season, the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers vie to bounce back tonight at home versus the Indiana Pacers from Staples Center.
The Lakers had won five straight since a season-high two-game losing streak, but dropped a 102-96 decision in Utah Friday night. The Jazz rallied from a 19-point deficit and ended the game on an 11-0 run. They also got 29 points from All-Star guard Deron Williams.
Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 31 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter, for Los Angeles, which got 21 points and 11 rebounds from Pau Gasol. Lamar Odom scored 16 points with 10 boards and Ron Artest added 11 points in defeat.
"You could take the softest player in the league and put him on the Jazz and he's going to turn into a tough guy," Bryant said of his opponent. "That's just how (Jerry) Sloan teaches them."
The Lakers shot a paltry 26.7 percent from the three-point line, their worst of the season. They are back in Hollywood and sport an 8-1 mark there.
Indiana will begin a four-game road trip out west tonight against the Lakers, Kings, Jazz and Suns. It is 3-2 on the road as opposed to a 4-5 home record.
The Pacers had a modest two-game winning streak stopped with Friday's 110-106 overtime loss versus Oklahoma City at Conseco Fieldhouse. Thunder young star Russell Westbrook scored a career-high 43 points to go with eight rebounds and eight assists. Danny Granger led the Pacers with 30 points and Roy Hibbert added 19 points and 10 rebounds for Indiana, which held a seemingly comfortable 14-point lead early in the third quarter.
"We were winning, literally, probably 46 of the 48 minutes of the game," Granger said. "We push it to five late in the fourth, they hit two three-point plays and then they tie the game right back up. It's a credit to them."
Indiana starting point guard Darren Collison finished with 10 points and five assists before fouling out. Forward Mike Dunleavy had 12 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.
The Lakers swept last season's series against Indiana, 2-0, after splitting the 2008-09 series with the Pacers by a 1-1 count. LA has won three straight and 13 of the past 18 meetings between the teams.
Indiana hasn't fared too well as the guest lately in this series, having lost 11 straight and 17 of its last 18 games at the Lakers.
11/28 10:32:00 ET