NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, December 1st (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (5-8) at Utah Jazz (6-9), 10:30 p.m. (Sports Network) - Two teams with two-game losing streaks meet tonight when the Utah Jazz welcome Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers to the Delta Center.
This is the first of four meetings between the clubs in the 2005-06 campaign. The Lakers will host the Jazz on January 1st and February 13th, and will visit Utah once again on January 3rd.
The Lakers play the finale of a brief two-game road trip. On Tuesday, Manu Ginobili had 22 points and eight rebounds to lead the Spurs to a 90-84 victory over the Lakers at the SBC Center.
Lamar Odom registered 27 points and 16 rebounds in the loss to San Antonio for the Lakers, while the All-Star Bryant contributed 25 points, but was just 9- of-33 from the floor.
Bryant is averaging a team-best 31.5 points per game and is shooting 43.3 percent from the floor, including 27.8 percent from beyond the arc. The 27- year-old guard has scored more than 30 points in eight of LA's 13 games this season.
LA, which has dropped four straight as the visitor, is 2-4 on the road this season. The Lakers return home on Friday to host Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Staples Center in the first of a short two-game homestand. They will also host Emeka Okafor and the Charlotte Bobcats on December 4th.
The Jazz close out a three-game homestand tonight. On Tuesday, Jermaine O'Neal netted a game-high 21 points and pulled down 15 rebounds as the Indiana Pacers crushed Utah, 84-60, at the Delta Center.
Rookie Deron Williams scored 14 points in the loss to Indiana for the Jazz, who lost for the seventh time in their last nine games overall. Utah shot 33 percent and made only 23 shots from the floor.
Andrei Kirilenko returned to the lineup Tuesday for the Jazz after missing seven straight games with an ankle injury. He came off the bench to score only seven points in less than 25 minutes of action.
Utah is just 2-5 at the Delta Center this season. The Jazz stop off at Portland on Sunday to visit the Blazers, before returning home for a five-game homestand. They will host Minnesota, Atlanta, Seattle, Detroit and the Trail Blazers on the upcoming stand.
The home team has won 12 of the last 15 contests overall in this series, while the Lakers have won seven of the last 11 meetings. The Lakers have dropped three in a row at Utah.
12/01 10:08:02 ET