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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, February 3rd (All times eastern)

San Antonio Spurs (37-10) at Los Angeles Lakers (24-19), 10:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Still stunned following the resignation of head coach Rudy Tomjanovich, the Los Angeles Lakers will try to turn the page quickly and get mentally right for tonight's contest against the NBA-best San Antonio Spurs at the Staples Center.

Tomjanovich resigned from his position on Wednesday after a few days of rumors that he was bowing out due to health concerns. Rudy T had missed Sunday's game because of a stomach virus.

Tomjanovich took over as the 20th coach in franchise history last July, signing a five-year deal worth a reported $30 million, after Phil Jackson and the Lakers mutually agreed to part company following the NBA Finals loss to the Detroit Pistons.

There are rumors that Jackson could return to the fold before season's end. In the interim, the Lakers will hand the reins to assistant Frank Hamblen, who has led the team to consecutive victories. Los Angeles picked up a 92-79 victory over Portland at the Staples Center on Tuesday.

Caron Butler and Chucky Atkins both scored 19 points to lead the Lakers to the win. Butler also had 10 rebounds while Lamar Odom chipped in 18 points for the Lakers, who have won two straight following a three-game losing streak.

Chris Mihm had 13 points and 10 boards while Tierre Brown tied a career-high with nine assists for the Lakers, who were once again playing without star guard Kobe Bryant. Bryant is expected to be out until after the All-Star break due to a sprained ankle.

The Lakers, who are 2-1 on their current four-game homestand, are 17-9 in their friendly confines this season. Los Angeles have won four of its last six home tilts.

San Antonio has won three straight and seven of its last 10 games, including a 103-84 victory over Seattle at KeyArena on Monday. Manu Ginobili had 23 points and Tim Duncan added 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Spurs to the win.

Tony Parker tallied 17 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out six assists for San Antonio. Bruce Bowen had 12 points and Brent Barry had 11 for the Spurs, who opened a seven-game road trip with their first win in three tries against the Sonics this season. For the year, the Spurs are 14-9 in foreign buildings.

The Spurs hit 48 percent from the field, including 8-of-18 (.444) from three- point range. San Antonio hit 17-of-21 (.810) from the free throw line. The Spurs outrebounded the Sonics, 42-36, in the winning effort.

San Antonio has won both meetings between these teams this season, including a 105-96 victory at the Staples Center on Nov. 5. The Spurs have won three straight, seven of 10 and eight of the last 12 meetings in this series, including two consecutive wins at Staples Center.

02/03 10:06:31 ET


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